The 30 edition of the African Cup of Nations got underway in Equatorial Guinea on Saturday January 17 with the hosts playing out a 1-1 draw against Congo in the first game of Group A.
Hosts Equatorial Guinea were held to a 1-1 draw at by their Matchday 1 opponents, Congo on Saturday.
Nzalang Nacional as they are fondly called were headed to an opening day win with the goal from Emilio Nsue before a late equaliser from Thievy Bifouma which rescued the Red Devils a disappointing loss in Bata.
A superb brilliance from Kike with a perfectly crafted through ball in the 16th minute found Nsue who put a low drive shot past goalkeeper Chris Mafoumbi to put Eq. Guinea 1-0 up.
Guinea pressed on for a second but each time they tried, they were confronted by a resillient Congolese goalie, Mafoumbi who put in all in between the posts to ensure the game was not far from a comeback.
Congo’s goal came from a converted kick from substitute Dominique Malonga’s throughball, that faced up in the way of Thievy.
Equatorial Guinea next face Burkina Faso, while Congo will take on Gabon. The second round matches will be played in Bata on January 21.
In the second match of the day, 2013 losing finalists, Burkina Faso could not hold back the Gabonese in Bata.
Borussia Dortmund striker Aubameyang was behind the spectacular result for the 2012 co-hosts with a first half lead.
Paul Put’s Burkina Faso lads could have opened the lead with a Bertrand Traore single run in goal in the 12 minute but for a save from Gabon goalie, Ovono only had it count as an attempt at goal.
Gabon woke up from a fiery Burkinese attack when Aubameyang was sent through by a clever pass from Andre Biyogo Poko which he slotted in with a second attempt after a first block from Germain Sanou.
Jonathan Pitroipa got close to equalising for Burkina Faso on two occasions but Ovono would not let any past him.
The second half started on a low tempo. It was only after 65 minutes of play that a Frederic Bulot play found the head of Malick Evouna who made it two for Jorge Costa’s men and three points in the kitty.
Gabon top Group A on three points, followed by Eq. Guinea and Congo on one point each.
Burkina Faso sit bottom of the table after the loss.