AFCON 2023: Group A – Equatorial Guinea v Guinea Bissau

AFCON 2023
Match 13 – Equatorial Guinea v Guinea Bissau
Thursday 18 January | 16:00

And so we enter the second match week of AFCON 2023. Equatorial Guinea will know that victory here will put them within touching distance of automatic qualification to the round of 16. It’s shaping up to be an absolute cracker!

To Win Match
Equatorial Guinea 14/10 | Draw 17/10 | Guinea-Bissau 21/10

Few could have predicted Equatorial Guinea would come away with something from their AFCON opener against West African heavyweights Nigeria. Indeed, the National Thunder registered just a single shot on target in that clash, but it was enough to secure a point in Group A.

Goalkeeper, Jesus Owono, put in quite a performance between the sticks. Whilst the shot stopper did not come away with a clean sheet, he did register six saves, five of which came from shots that were struck inside the box. His reflexes may be required once more, as Guinea-Bissau will look to put their first points on the board.

Whilst Equatorial Guinea will be hopeful of qualifying from Group A (which contains African giants Ivory Coast and Nigeria), they have put themselves in a great position, in holding Nigeria to a draw. More importantly, they found the back of the net which will give their frontline the confidence to play more freely.

Playing against the host nation in the opener of any tournament is a daunting task… especially when the host nation are a stacked Ivory Coast outfit. They didn’t come as a surprise, but as is the case in football there is more than meets the eye.

Looking from a statistical lens, Guinea-Bissau registered eight of their ten shots levied against the Ivorians in the second stanza. That being said, the introduction of Ze Turbo really intensified their attack as they pushed for an opener. The twenty-seven-year-old’s three shots during his cameo appearance really personified the team’s resilience.

If Guinea-Bissau can play like they did against Ivory Coast, I am certain they can get something against Equatorial Guinea. Creator in chief, Alfa Semedo, will be encouraged to roam freely, after a better attacking display than a defensive one. The Saudi-based player conjured up four chances for his teammates and averaged an 88% pass accuracy ratio.

Verdict: Draw 17/10

For both teams, qualifying from a group that contains the host nation, Ivory Coast, and attack heavy, Nigeria, would be out of the question. In any event, there is also the possibility of qualifying as one of the four best third-placed nations. They’ll both be going all out here. I can only see a stalemate in this one.