AFCON: Senegal Vs Equatorial Guinea – Match preview

AFCON: Senegal Vs Equatorial Guinea – Match preview

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29 Jan 2022
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Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea

While the win was aided by two dismissals for the losers, Senegal are now only the second team under the current format to reach the quarter-finals unbreached.

Senegal

Senegal finally scored from open play in Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Round of 16 victories over Cape Verde (2-0). While the win was aided by two dismissals for the losers, Senegal are now only the second team under the current format to reach the quarter-finals unbreached. The first of those teams, Algeria, went on to win the 2019 edition at Senegal’s expense, meaning the ‘Lions of Teranga’ are still searching for their first continental title. Including that heart-breaking loss, each of Senegal’s last nine AFCON finals matches to produce any goals have seen the first scorer go on to win ‘to nil’ inside 120 minutes. As such, they will hope to draw first blood again, even with the hospitalisation of head injury victim Sadio Mané, who has opened the scoring beyond the hour mark in both of Senegal’s prior wins during this tournament.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea stunned Mali in their Round of 16 clashes, defying a 61-place gap in FIFA’s rankings to progress via penalties. With no burden of expectation here, the minnows can take confidence from a group stage win over Algeria, who entered this tournament just nine places below Senegal. Aside from stunning the continent yet again, a win for Equatorial Guinea would equalise the current all-time H2H record. Though limited, the history of this fixture shows a trend, where every game has seen more goals in the second half than the first.

 

Idrissa Gueye netted the winner for Senegal in the 2019 AFCON quarter-finals and also scored in this H2H in 2017, but Esteban Obiang is a potential giant-killer, having scored Equatorial Guinea’s winner in that famous victory over Algeria earlier in the tournament, and played every minute of his nation’s preceding three-match run without conceding. Ahead of the round, five (62.5 per cent) of the previous eight AFCON quarter-finals had produced an odd number of match goals.

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