Tournament hosts Equatorial Guinea secured a shock 2-1 victory over tournament favourites Tunisia in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations at Estadio de Bata on Saturday night. Having finished second best in group A Nzalang Nacional set up a date with group B’s top finishers and together the two sides provided a catchy encounter. The Eagles of Carthage saw much of the ball in the opening stanza but failed to turn that into their advantage.
In the 29th minute Georges Leekens almost saw his side take the lead but Ferjani Sassi’s header went wide. Despite poor efforts and snippets of threatening opportunities, it was anybody’s game even at half-time as it ended 0-0. Esteban Becker’s side was pushed further back in the early exchanges of the second stanza and almost conceded in the 51st minute when Ahmed Akaichi unleashed a superb shot only to be denied by the keeper.
The Tunisians continued coming forward but failed to utilise their chances opening room for the hosts to have a handful chances of their own. The North Africans finally slotted home in the 70th minute through Akaichi before
the Equatorial Guineans forced the game to go into extra time with a 92nd minute Javier Balboa penalty to make it 1-1. The foul itself that brought about the spot kick was soft to say the least.
From being a goal down to a goal ahead, Balboa slotted a freekick worthy of any competition to make it 2-1 in the 101st minute putting his side in front, to the fury of the Tunisians. Despite late numerous attempts by Tunisia to send the game into penalties, there would be no come back for the North Africans. The 2-1 scoreline meant the host nation secured a first ever AFCON semi-final, much to the chagrin of their opponents whose anger at several refereeing decisions saw several players surrounding the referee at the final whistle.