April 19, 2024

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Nsue scores hat-trick in Equatorial Guinea victory in the game that officiated by Rwandan Referee

Emilio Nsue scored three goals as Equatorial Guinea defeated Guinea-Bissau to advance to the knockout stages of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Nsue scored in the first half and added two more after the break to complete the first Afcon treble since 2008.

Esteban Orozco’s own goal tied the game at halftime, but Josete Miranda restored Equatorial Guinea’s lead early in the second half.

Guinea-Bissau’s Ze Turbo scored a consolation goal in stoppage time.

The result moves Equatorial Guinea to the top of Group A with four points, ahead of hosts Ivory Coast’s match against Nigeria (17:00 GMT), and puts Juan Micha’s side on the verge of a last-16 spot after their 1-1 draw with Nigeria on Sunday.

It was a memorable day for Nsue, a 34-year-old former Middlesbrough and Birmingham City player who took advantage of sloppy defending to score his first Afcon hat-trick since Morocco’s Soufiane Alloudi against Namibia in the group stage 16 years ago.

Nsue scored his first goal by lifting the ball in off goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco’s leg after Guinea-Bissau captain Sori Mane failed to deal with Pablo Ganet’s routine through ball.

The Djurtus (Wild Dogs) had gone two full Afcon tournaments without scoring, but Franculino’s pressure paid off when Orozco turned in a cross from close range to make it 1-1 eight minutes before halftime, with referee Samuel Uwikunda confirming the goal after the first of several VAR checks.

Guinea-Bissau was awarded a penalty two minutes later when Saul Coco was initially booked for attempting to prevent Franculino from shooting after receiving Mauro Rodrigues’ perceptive low pass.

Rwandan international referee, Samuel Uwikunda officiates his first game at Afcon 2023

Uwikunda used his pitchside monitor to determine that Coco had not clipped the back of the forward’s heels, and Equatorial Guinea capitalized early in the second half when goalkeeper Jesus Owono’s long ball bounced on the edge of the opposition penalty area, and Miranda met it with a ruthless first-time finish.

Nsue scored his second when Djoco failed to deal with Basilio Ndong’s cross five minutes later, and the striker produced his best finish when he collected Jose Machin’s pass, sauntered around Djoco, and scored from a tight angle.

He endured a tense wait as an offside check confirmed his hat-trick and the 20th goal of his international career, extending his record as Equatorial Guinea’s top scorer.

Guinea-Bissau scored their second goal in added time, when Ze Turbo latched on to fellow second-half substitute Dalcio’s right-wing cross and prodded it into the far corner of the net with the outside of his left foot.

Only an elastic Owono reflex save kept them from reducing the deficit to once again, allowing them to parry Jefferson Encada’s deflected long-range strike deep into overtime.

Guinea-Bissau is bottom of the group, but they have the consolation of breaking the tournament record for a team without a goal, which had lasted nearly 14 hours since they scored in a 2-1 loss to Cameroon in 2017.

Baciro Cande’s players return to action against Nigeria at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium on Monday (17:00 GMT), where they will seek their first ever Afcon win in their 12th match across four appearances at the finals.

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