The date is set for Equatorial Guinea and Guinea to take centre stage at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe on Sunday evening. The two nations did themselves proud up to this point, but the job is not over and must prepare to battle it out in a mammoth round of 16 clash.

To win (90 min)
Equatorial Guinea 26/10
Draw 16/10
Guinea 12/10

Equatorial Guinea

It has been a tournament to remember for the Central Africans of Equatorial Guinea. This is only their fourth appearance at this prestigious continental showpiece and have proved to Africa that playing as a team can get you the results you are looking for. They have been a breath of fresh air at this tournament and have qualified for the round of 16 after finishing as winners of Group A.

The Elephants began their journey with a tough first fixture against Nigeria. It was a match of defence verse attack. The Nigerians dominated which was expected, but it was Ivan Salvador who got the first goal of the match for Equatorial Guinea in the 36-minute. A lapse of concentration crept in, and the Nigerians equalised two minutes later. The match was deadlocked and ended 1-1 which suited The Elephants more.

They went on to play Guinea-Bissau on matchday two where they dominated the game and showed true class. Emilio Nsue was the star of the show on the day and proved that age is just a number, after the 34-year-old bagged a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory (becoming the oldest player to net a treble in the competition and the first to do so in 15 years). They took on the host nation Ivory Coast in their final Group A fixture. This was a redemption match for Equatorial Guinea after they lost to Ivory Coast in the previous AFCON tournament that took place in Cameroon. Emilio Nsue again proved to be the main act and bagged a brace, Pablo Ganet and Jannick Buyla got a goal apiece to finish the Ivorians off in a shocking 4-0 defeat.

This run has been monumental for the Central Africans up to this point but can’t bask on this euphoria for too long as they turn their attention to facing a strong Guinea outfit. Coach Juan Micha will know the importance of this fixture and will demand a massive performance from his team on the day. This could be their best opportunity to beat their previous record of finishing fourth in 2015 and that starts here with a victory against Guinea.


The road to the round of 16 was tough for Guinea. Three tough fixtures to get through in Group C and managed it well as they qualified as one of the best third placed nations. Their best result came way back in 1976 where they finished as runners-up to Morocco who went on to lift their first continental crown as AFCON champions.

The National Elephants got their AFCON tournament off to a flyer in their first Group C match against Cameroon. It took ten minutes for them to break the deadlock, with Mohamed Bayo’s strike enough to give them the lead going into the half time interval. Cameroon came out in the second half a different outfit and was rewarded with a goal shortly after play resumed. Frank Magri’s equalizer ensured the spoils where shared – nevertheless, a positive result for Guinea.

Matchday two was a dominant performance by Guinea as they took the game to The Gambia. A total of sixteen shots and 55% ball possession showed they have more to offer especially in the final third. Aguibou Camara’s second half strike hit the back of the net to hand Guinea their first win at AFCON. The third and final match against the reigning champions Senegal was always going to be the hardest and, in the end, proved so after the Lions of Teranga beat them two nil.

In the knockout stages, there are no second chances! Head coach Kaba Diawara will need his best players to be in song with each other as they look to put Equatorial Guinea to the sword. Former Liverpool midfielder and captain of Guinea, Naby Keita, will need to command the midfield and create scoring opportunities for Stuttgart based forward Serhou Guirassy (who has netted 17 goals in 14 appearances for the German outfit).  

Prediction: Equatorial Guinea to win at 26/10

This will be a good end to end battle with a lot at stake for both nations. Looking at these two nations, I see Equatorial Guinea the more settled side with a powerful and fast attacking department that will cause Guinea huge problems to pick up the victory and advance into the next round.

Written by Marc Strydom