Equatorial Guinea national football team
|Nickname(s)||Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder)|
|Association||Federación Ecuatoguineana de Fútbol|
|Head coach||Esteban Becker|
|Home stadium||Nuevo Estadio de Malabo|
|Current||114 22 (24 November 2016)|
|Highest||49 (February 2015)|
|Lowest||195 (December 1998)|
|Highest||107 (31 January 2015)|
|Lowest||187 (March 2003)|
China PR 6–2 Equatorial Guinea |
(China; 23 May 1975)
Equatorial Guinea 4–0 South Sudan |
(Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; 4 September 2016)
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.
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.
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.
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, and two new stadiums were built in Equatorial Guinea: Estadio de Bata in Bata and Nuevo Estadio de Malabo in Malabo.
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. In the next game, they secured qualification to the quarter-finals by beating Senegal 2–1, and finished second in their group after losing 0–1 to Zambia. 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. 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.
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
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Kit and colors
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. When Equatorial Guinea is away, they wear all white shirt with blue stripes.
- CEMAC Cup: 1
World Cup record
Africa Cup of Nations record
|Host nation(s) / Year||Round||Position||GP||W||D*||L||GS||GA|
| 1957 to |
|Did Not Enter|
|1990||Did Not Qualify|
|1992||Did Not Enter|
|1994||Did Not Enter|
|1998||Did Not Enter|
|2000||Did Not Enter|
| 2002 to |
|Did Not Qualify|
|2013||Did Not Qualify|
- *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
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.
|25 March 2016 2017 ACN Qual||Mali||1–0||Equatorial Guinea||Bamako, Mali|
|19:00 UTC±0||Wagué 81'||Report|| Stadium: Stade du 26 Mars,
Referee: Denis Dembélé (Ivory Coast)
|28 March 2016 2017 ACN Qual||Equatorial Guinea||0–1||Mali||Malabo, Equatorial Guinea|
|17:00 UTC+1||Report||M. Yatabaré 89'|| Stadium: Estadio de Malabo
Referee: Bernard Camille (Seychelles)
|12 June 2016 2017 ACN Qual||Benin||2–1||Equatorial Guinea||Cotonou, Benin|
|16:00 UTC+1|| Adénon 25'
|Report||Zarandona 59'|| Stadium: Stade de l'Amitié
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
|4 September 2016 2017 ACN Qual||Equatorial Guinea||4–0||South Sudan||Malabo, Equatorial Guinea|
|17:00 UTC+1|| Miranda 54'
|Report|| Stadium: Estadio de Malabo
Referee: Hélder Martins de Carvalho (Angola)
|11 October 2016 Friendly||Lebanon||1–1||Equatorial Guinea||Beirut, Lebanon|
|17:30 UTC+3||Maatouk 83'||Balboa 62' (pen.)|| Stadium: Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium
The following are some of the players summoned for the October 2016 match against Lebanon.
Caps and goals are correct as of 11 October 2016, after match against Lebanon. The matches non-recognized by FIFA are not included.
|#||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Felipe Ovono||26 July 1993||23||0||Orlando Pirates|
|13||GK||Aitor Embela||17 April 1996||2||0||Valladolid B|
|2||DF||Eloy||16 March 1985||3||0||Tarxien Rainbows|
|3||DF||Igor Engonga||4 January 1995||11||1||Almería B|
|4||DF||Marvin||26 August 1997||0||0||Fuenlabrada B|
|5||DF||Diosdado Mbele||8 April 1997||14||0||Hibernians|
|8||DF||Randy||2 June 1987||33||4||OFI|
|19||DF||Fréderic Bikoro||17 March 1996||10||0||Free Agent|
|7||MF||Pablo Ganet||4 November 1994||5||0||Algeciras|
|15||MF||Basilio||17 January 1999||2||0||Cano Sport|
|17||MF||Papa||20 April 1997||3||0||Cano Sport|
|18||MF||Viera Ellong||14 June 1987||25||2||Kerkyra|
|21||MF||Iván Zarandona||30 August 1980||30||1||Palencia|
|10||FW||Niko Kata||15 January 1993||1||0||Gavà|
|11||FW||Javier Balboa (captain)||13 May 1985||25||5||Chabab Rif Al Hoceima|
|12||FW||Bello||10 May 1984||2||0||Sony de Elá Nguema|
|14||FW||Kike||17 July 1993||17||0||Kissamikos|
|20||FW||David Mitogo||18 May 1990||6||0||Compostela|
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||Cambio||8 July 1998||0||0||Fundación Bata||v. South Sudan, 4 September 2016|
|DF||Carlos Akapo||12 March 1993||10||1||Huesca||v. South Sudan, 4 September 2016|
|DF||Helguera||13 September 1991||1||0||Sony de Elá Nguema||v. South Sudan, 4 September 2016|
|DF||Marcelo||1||0||Deportivo Unidad||v. Benin, June 2016|
|DF||Eugenio Mbomio||25 December 1990||0||0||Deportivo Mongomo||v. Benin, June 2016|
|DF||Cosme||3 March 1990||1||0||Deportivo Unidad||v. Mali, 29 March 2016|
|MF||Rubén Belima||11 February 1992||10||0||Koper||v. South Sudan, September 2016|
|MF||James||5 July 1995||3||0||Mallorca B||v. Benin, June 2016|
|MF||Boban||1 July 1982||1||0||Akonangui||v. Benin, June 2016|
|MF||Deco||17 March 1987||2||0||Sony de Elá Nguema||v. Benin, June 2016|
|MF||Pepín||14 August 1996||4||0||Trapani||v. Mali, 29 March 2016|
|FW||Emilio Nsue||30 September 1989||12||3||Middlesbrough||v. South Sudan, 4 September 2016|
|FW||Josete Miranda||22 July 1998||8||1||Getafe B||v. South Sudan, 4 September 2016|
|FW||Rubén Darío||21 June 1993||2||0||Atlético Semu||v. South Sudan, 4 September 2016|
|FW||Iban Salvador||11 December 1995||14||2||Valladolid||v. Benin, 12 June 2016|
|FW||David Salomé||26 November 1996||0||0||Alcoyano B||v. Benin, 12 June 2016|
- (RET) Retired from the national team
- (INJ) Injured
The following coaches who manages the team from time to time are:
- Manuel Sanchís Martínez (1980)
- Julio Raúl González (1989–90)
- Pedro-Mabale Fuga Afang (199?–1998)
- Jesús Martín Dorta (1999)
- Jean-Jacques Dortas (1999)
- Raúl Eduardo Rodríguez (2000)
- Juan Carlos Bueriberi Echuaca (2000–200?)
- Francisco Nsi Nchama (2002)
- Jesús Martín Dorta (2003)
- Óscar Engonga (2003)
- Adel Amrouche (2004)
- Antônio Dumas (2004–2006)
- Quique Setién (2006)
- Jordan de Freitas (2007–2008)
- Vicente Engonga (2008–2009)
- Carlos Diarte (2009–2010)
- Casto Nopo (2010) caretaker
- Henri Michel (2010)
- Casto Nopo (2011) caretaker
- Gílson Paulo (2012)
- Andoni Goikoetxea (2013–2014)
- Esteban Becker (2015–)
- 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. A new president was elected on 10 June 2016, and as a result, the suspension was lifted and the match would take place accordingly.
- "Equatorial Guinea - List of International Matches". 5 June 2006. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- "Angola to host 2010 Nations Cup". BBC Sport. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2006.
- "Nuevo Estadio de Malabo". Stadium Guide. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Balboa dá vitória à Guiné Equatorial" [Balboa gives the victory to Equatorial Guinea]. A Bola. abola.pt. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea in quarters as Senegal crash out 25 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
- BBC Sport – Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia book quarter-final slot 29 January 2012. Accessed 1 February 2011
- Ivory Coast 3 - 0 Equatorial Guinea 4 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
- Orange CAN 2012 Best XI 12 February 2012. Accessed 14 February 2011
- "African football's integrity is undermined, by Mark Gleeson". WorldSoccer.com. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "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.
- "Equatorial Guinea ANC Puma Home Shirt 2012". Football Shirts. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
- "Benin vs Equatorial Guinea postponed to June 12". CAF. 4 June 2016.
- "Moucharafou elected president of Benin Football Federation". CAF. 10 June 2016.
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