Equatorial Guinea national football team

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Equatorial Guinea
Nickname(s) Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder)
Association Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Sub-confederation UNIFFAC
(Central Africa)
Head coach Esteban Becker
Captain Emilio Nsue
Home stadium Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
FIFA code EQG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 81 Increase 4 (15 September 2016)
Highest 49 (February 2015)
Lowest 195 (December 1998)
Elo ranking
Current 110
Highest 107 (31 January 2015)
Lowest 187 (March 2003)
First international
 China PR 6–2 Equatorial Guinea 
(China; 23 May 1975)
Biggest win
 Equatorial Guinea 4–0 South Sudan 
(Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; 4 September 2016)
Biggest defeat
 Congo 6–0 Equatorial Guinea 
(Congo; 13 December 1990)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances 2 (First in 2012)
Best result Fourth place, 2015

The Equatorial Guinea national football team, nicknamed Nzalang Nacional, is the national team of Equatorial Guinea and is controlled by the Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol. It is a member of Confederation of African Football (CAF). Though Equatorial Guinea has traditionally been one of the lowest ranked teams in Africa, the recent influx of Spanish-born players of Equatoguinean heritage has strengthened the national team and resulted in some solid performances. They qualified as co-hosts for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The hosting of the tournament lead to the construction of two new football stadia in the country: Estadio de Bata in Bata on the mainland, and Estadio de Malabo in Malabo. The national team managed a creditable fourth place at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, which held in Equatorial Guinea.

History[edit]

Equatorial Guinea played its first match on 23 May 1975 against China in a friendly, losing 6−2. They did not play another game until entering the 1985 UDEAC Cup in December 1985. They were drawn in a group against the hosts Congo and Central African Republic. They lost 5−0 to the Congo on 9 December and then earned their first draw by drawing 1−1 against the Central African Republic on 14 December. On 16 December, they played a play-off for fifth place against Chad, and lost 3−2 on penalties after a 1−1 draw.[1]

Equatorial Guinea would come in fourth in the 1987 UDEAC Cup, losing on penalties in the third place match to Gabon, even though they only scored one goal throughout the tournament in a 1−1 draw against Chad. They also drew 0−0 against Cameroon. On their next attempt, they got sixth place after losing on penalties against the Central African Republic. The next time Equatorial Guinea played the Central African Republic, in 1999, they won, 4–2. It was Equatorial Guinea's first win.[1]

In the late 2000s, their Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol, along with the Fédération Gabonaise de Football, announced a bid to host the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, against bids from other African nations including Angola, Libya and Nigeria. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon won the right to host the games,[2] and two new stadiums were built in Equatorial Guinea: Estadio de Bata in Bata and Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Malabo.[3]

The first game in the 2012 African Cup of Nations was Equatorial Guinea's first in a major international tournament, and resulted in a historic 1–0 win over Libya 21 January 2012 in the opening game of the tournament. An 87th-minute strike from former Real Madrid winger Javier Balboa earned the victory.[4] In the next game, they secured qualification to the quarter-finals by beating Senegal 2–1,[5] and finished second in their group after losing 0–1 to Zambia.[6] They progressed to the quarter finals where they were eliminated by the tournament's runners-up Ivory Coast after losing to The Elephants 3–0 thanks to goals from Didier Drogba and Yaya Touré.[7] Various national side players were praised due to their performances in the tournament, including Javier Balboa, Randy, Ben Konaté and Rui, the latter a part of the Team of the Tournament.[8]

Three years later, Equatorial Guinea organized again African Cup of Nations. On this occasion, to replace Morocco, which was the original host. In the opener, drew 1–1 against Congo, with Emilio Nsue opening the scoring. In the second game, they responded by playing out a 0–0 draw with Burkina Faso, the runners-up of the previous edition. With these two results, the Nzalang Nacional had to win against its classic rival Gabon in the third match to obtain the qualification to the quarter-finals. Equatorial Guinea won 2–0 with goals from Javier Balboa (a penalty kick) and Ibán. As Group A's runner-up, the Equatoguinean national team then defeated Tunisia 2–1 with two goals from Balboa, the first being a penalty kick in the final moments of regular time and the second in extra time. In the semi-final, however, they lost 0–3 to Ghana, and in the match for third place, drew 0–0 against DR Congo, ultimately losing 2–4 on penalties. The country finished the tournament in fourth place, being its best international participation to date and helping it reach a historical 49th position in the FIFA World Rankings.

Naturalised players controversy[edit]

In recent years, Equatorial Guinea has courted controversy by recruiting foreign players and giving them citizenship despite having little or no ties to the country. In 2009, South African journalist and FIFA archivist Mark Gleeson wrote that it was undermining the integrity of African football.[9]

In late 2005, and at the request of Ruslán Obiang Nsue, a son of President Teodoro Obiang, Brazilian coach Antônio Dumas recruited several Brazilian players to represent the Equatorial Guinea but the CAF and FIFA turned a blind eye, despite complaints from other nations.

In 2012, having lost the first leg of a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification round 4–0 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea recruited nine Brazilian players to help overturn the deficit for the second leg. The team did manage to win the match 2–1, but it was not enough to overturn the aggregate and Equatorial Guinea were eliminated from the tournament. DR Congo head coach Claude Le Roy complained that the Equatorial Guinea were acting like the "United Nations of football".

Before the arrival of new coach Andoni Goikoetxea to Malabo, in March 2013, the Equatoguinean board made the squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Cape Verde and again called-up nine Brazilian players.[10] In May 2013, they joined Colombian-born, Ecuadorian-based Jimmy Bermúdez, to who was going to pay him €3,000 for each match he plays.[11]

During qualifying for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, in the series played against Mauritania, the nation lost 1–0 away and won 3–0 in Malabo as hosts, sorting to the next round to face Uganda. However, the Mauritanian Football Federation demanded, before the CAF, for the inclusion of ineligible players to play with Nzalang Nacional (Some with passports and false names), resulting in the expulsion of the Equatorial Guinean team, based on the particular situation of Thierry Fidjeu, while the cases of the other players remained under investigation.

Home stadium[edit]

Further information: Nuevo Estadio de Malabo
Nuevo Estadio de Malabo

Equatorial Guinea's home stadium is Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Malabo. It can hold up to 15,250 people. Equatorial Guinea played there when they hosted the 2012 African Cup of Nations During their participation in the tournament, they played in this stadium against eventual winners Zambia and runners-up the Ivory Coast. During the national side's participation in the 2012 African Cup of Nations, they also played in the newly constructed Estadio de Bata, in which they played and won both their games in the stadium against Libya and Senegal.[3]

Kit and colors[edit]

Equatorial Guinea wears a red and white uniform. The kit manufacturer is Adidas. When they play in Equatorial Guinea, they wear a solid red jersey and matching shorts with white stripes. The number, FEGUIFUT logo, and Adidas logo are located on the chest. The socks are red with white at the top.[12] When Equatorial Guinea is away, they wear all white shirt with blue stripes.

Achievements[edit]

2006

World Cup record[edit]

Africa Cup of Nations record[edit]

Host nation(s) / Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Sudan 1957 to
Egypt 1986
Did Not Enter
Morocco 1988 Withdrew
Algeria 1990 Did Not Qualify
Senegal 1992 Did Not Enter
Tunisia 1994 Did Not Enter
South Africa 1996 Withdrew
Burkina Faso 1998 Did Not Enter
GhanaNigeria 2000 Did Not Enter
Mali 2002 to
Angola 2010
Did Not Qualify
GabonEquatorial Guinea 2012 Quarter-Finals 7th 4 2 0 2 3 5
South Africa 2013 Did Not Qualify
Equatorial Guinea 2015 Fourth place 4th 6 2 3 1 5 5
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Results and fixtures[edit]

The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following are some of the players summoned for the September 2016 match against South Sudan.

Caps and goals are correct as of 4 September 2016, after match against South Sudan. The matches non-recognized by FIFA are not included.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Felipe Ovono (1993-07-26) 26 July 1993 (age 23) 22 0 South Africa Orlando Pirates
13 1GK Cambio (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 18) 0 0 Equatorial Guinea Fundación Bata

2 2DF Helguera (1991-09-13) 13 September 1991 (age 25) 1 0 Equatorial Guinea Sony de Elá Nguema
3 2DF Igor Engonga (1995-01-04) 4 January 1995 (age 21) 10 1 Spain Almería B
5 2DF Diosdado Mbele (1997-04-08) 8 April 1997 (age 19) 13 0 Malta Hibernians
15 2DF Carlos Akapo (1993-03-12) 12 March 1993 (age 23) 10 1 Spain Huesca
19 2DF Fréderic Bikoro (1996-03-17) 17 March 1996 (age 20) 9 0 Spain Recreativo B

7 3MF Rubén Belima (1992-02-11) 11 February 1992 (age 24) 10 0 Slovenia Koper
8 3MF Randy (1987-06-02) 2 June 1987 (age 29) 32 4 Greece OFI
14 3MF Basilio (1999-01-17) 17 January 1999 (age 17) 1 0 Equatorial Guinea Cano Sport
17 3MF Papa (1997-04-20) 20 April 1997 (age 19) 2 0 Equatorial Guinea Cano Sport
18 3MF Viera Ellong (1987-06-14) 14 June 1987 (age 29) 24 2 Greece Kerkyra
21 3MF Iván Zarandona (1980-08-30) 30 August 1980 (age 36) 29 1 Spain Palencia
22 3MF Pablo Ganet (1994-11-04) 4 November 1994 (age 21) 4 0 Spain Algeciras

9 4FW Emeterio Elo (1984-05-10) 10 May 1984 (age 32) 1 0 Equatorial Guinea Sony de Elá Nguema
10 4FW Emilio Nsue (1989-09-30) 30 September 1989 (age 26) 12 3 England Middlesbrough
16 4FW Rubén Darío (1993-06-21) 21 June 1993 (age 23) 2 0 Equatorial Guinea Atlético Semu
20 4FW Josete Miranda (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 18) 8 1 Spain Getafe B

Recent callups[edit]

The following Equatoguinean players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Aitor Embela (1996-04-17) 17 April 1996 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Valladolid B v.  Morocco, November 2015 INJ

DF Marcelo 1 0 Equatorial Guinea Deportivo Unidad v.  Benin, June 2016
DF Kike (1993-07-17) 17 July 1993 (age 23) 16 0 Greece Kissamikos v.  Benin, June 2016
DF Eloy (1985-03-16) 16 March 1985 (age 31) 2 0 Malta Tarxien Rainbows v.  Benin, June 2016
DF Eugenio Mbomio (1990-12-25) 25 December 1990 (age 25) 0 0 Equatorial Guinea Deportivo Mongomo v.  Benin, June 2016
DF Cosme (1990-03-03) 3 March 1990 (age 26) 1 0 Equatorial Guinea Deportivo Unidad v.  Mali, 29 March 2016
DF Boriba (1990-05-14) 14 May 1990 (age 26) 6 0 Spain Atlético Pinto v.  Morocco, November 2015
DF Daniel Evuy (1985-03-11) 11 March 1985 (age 31) 10 0 Unattached v.  Kosovo, 10 October 2015

MF Boban (1982-07-01) 1 July 1982 (age 34) 1 0 Equatorial Guinea Akonangui v.  Benin, June 2016
MF Deco (1987-03-17) 17 March 1987 (age 29) 2 0 Equatorial Guinea Sony de Elá Nguema v.  Benin, June 2016
MF Pepín (1996-08-14) 14 August 1996 (age 20) 4 0 Italy Trapani v.  Mali, 29 March 2016

FW James (1995-07-05) 5 July 1995 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Mallorca B v.  Benin, June 2016
FW David Salomé (1996-11-26) 26 November 1996 (age 19) 0 0 Spain Alcoyano B v.  Benin, June 2016
FW David Mitogo (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 26) 5 0 Spain Compostela v.  Benin, June 2016
FW Iban Salvador (1995-12-11) 11 December 1995 (age 20) 14 2 Spain Valladolid v.  Benin, June 2016
FW Javier Balboa (1985-05-13) 13 May 1985 (age 31) 24 4 Morocco Chabab Rif Al Hoceima v.  Mali, 29 March 2016
FW Raúl Fabiani (1984-02-23) 23 February 1984 (age 32) 11 0 Hong Kong Hong Kong Sapling v.  Kosovo, 10 October 2015
FW Máquina (1993-10-22) 22 October 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Equatorial Guinea Leones Vegetarianos v.  Kosovo, 10 October 2015
FW Lolín (1992-09-16) 16 September 1992 (age 24) 0 0 Equatorial Guinea Leones Vegetarianos v.  Kosovo, 10 October 2015

Notes:

  • (RET) Retired from the national team
  • (INJ) Injured

Coaches[edit]

The following coaches who manages the team from time to time are:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Benin v Equatorial Guinea match was postponed from the original date of 5 June 2016 to 12 June 2016, due to the suspension of the Fédération Béninoise de Football by FIFA. The match would be cancelled and the CAF would rule on the case if the condition for lifting the suspension was not met by 11 June 2016.[14] A new president was elected on 10 June 2016, and as a result, the suspension was lifted and the match would take place accordingly.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Equatorial Guinea - List of International Matches". 5 June 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Angola to host 2010 Nations Cup". BBC Sport. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Nuevo Estadio de Malabo". Stadium Guide. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Balboa dá vitória à Guiné Equatorial" [Balboa gives the victory to Equatorial Guinea]. A Bola. abola.pt. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  5. ^ BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea in quarters as Senegal crash out 25 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
  6. ^ BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia book quarter-final slot 29 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
  7. ^ Ivory Coast 3 - 0 Equatorial Guinea 4 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
  8. ^ Orange CAN 2012 Best XI 12 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
  9. ^ "African football's integrity is undermined, by Mark Gleeson". WorldSoccer.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Volante Neto é convocado pela Seleção de Guiné Equatorial" [Midfielder Neto is called for the national team of Equatorial Guinea] (in Portuguese). Barretos Esporte Clube. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  11. ^ [1] (Spanish)
  12. ^ "Equatorial Guinea ANC Puma Home Shirt 2012". Football Shirts. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ Invalid match for the annals of FIFA since Kosovo is not a FIFA member.
  14. ^ "Benin vs Equatorial Guinea postponed to June 12". CAF. 4 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Moucharafou elected president of Benin Football Federation". CAF. 10 June 2016. 

External links[edit]