Javier Balboa scored twice as hosts Equatorial Guinea reached the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals with a stunning 2-1 extra-time victory over Tunisia on Saturday.
His winning goal was scored in the 12th minute of extra time in when Balboa superbly curled a free-kick was directed to the top corner of the post.This was one of the greatest upsets in the history of the African Nations’ Cup.
Tunisia took the lead in the 70th minute from Akaichi Ahmed with Balboa tallying the score in stoppage time from the penalty spot.
This win means that Equatorial Guinea has gained a semi-final berth with Ghana or Guinea in Malabo next Thursday. In a spectacular and stunning fight-back, DR Congo defeated Congo Brazzaville 4-2 to earn a bout with Algeria or the Ivory Coast in the semi-finals.
Aymen Mathlouthi was a more spectator during the first-half mainly dominated by largely by the Carthage Eagles. Midfield Houcine Ragued was shown a yellow-card in the 9th minute for a rough launch on Ellong Doualla. Ovono received a knock and needed medical attention after being challenged for the loose ball by Aymen Abdennour.
Equatorial Guinea had an early scare when a cross traversed across the Felipe Ovono’s goalmouth. They eventually sent Mathlouthi into action few minutes before half-time but Balboa pounced on the loose ball just outside the area and his shot was cleared by Syam Ben Youssef.
Tunisia finished the half stronger with Akaichi delivering another good cross that captain Yassine Chikhaoui handled as he battled for possession.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came from a pass from the midfield by Chikhaoui to Mohamed Yaakoubi on the right wing. His cross got in front of Diosdado Mbele who steered the ball past Ovono to stun the crowd.
By: Jammeh E.K. Bojang