AFCON 2023: Reactions to Ivory Coast’s Humbling Loss to Equatorial Guinea as Early Exit Looms

AFCON 2023: Reactions to Ivory Coast’s Humbling Loss to Equatorial Guinea as Early Exit Looms

Robert Abong'o
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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CAF African Nations Championship
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Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
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Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
  • Equatorial Guinea beat hosts Ivory Coast 4-0 in their AFCON 2023 game
  • Emilio Nsue, Pablo Garnet, and Jannick Buyla scored for the underdogs
  • The hosts are on the brink of an embarrassing exit from the tournament

In a surprising turn of events at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations hosts found themselves on the verge of an early exit following a crushing 4-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea.

The underdogs took control in the 42nd minute when Emilio Nsue, their star player, netted the opening goal.

The situation worsened for the host nation when Pablo Garnet scored a wonderful free kick before FC Intercity striker, Nsue scored again to establish a formidable 3-0 lead.

Underdogs Equatorial Guinea stunned hosts Ivory Coast 4-0. Photo: Issouf Sanogo.
Underdogs, Equatorial Guinea stunned hosts Ivory Coast 4-0 during their AFCON 2023 clash. Photo: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

As the stadium began to empty, Jannick Buyla sealed the fate of The Elephants with a goal two minutes before full-time, solidifying Equatorial Guinea's commanding victory.

The hosts now face the prospect of an embarrassing exit from their very own tournament, as reported by the BBC.

Mathematically, it's not over yet, as Côte d'Ivoire will have to wait and pray for other results to go their way in the next two days to potentially earn a playoff spot.

Fans react to Ivory Coast's AFCON humbling

In the other Group A clash, Nigeria clinched a 1-0 win against Guinea-Bissau, courtesy of a first-half own goal by Opa Sangante, who unintentionally redirected a Moses Simon cross into the net in the 36th minute.

Some would argue that he was compelled to intervene with Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen looming behind him.

That outcome secured the Super Eagles' place in second position in Group A with seven points, trailing behind Equatorial Guinea on goal difference.

Ivory Coast, two-time continental champions, face an anxious wait to determine if they will progress to the last 16 as one of the top four third-placed teams, having only missed the group phase once in the last nine editions (2017).

Jean-Louis Gasset's side is on edge, needing several favourable results to avoid elimination after enduring their heaviest-ever home defeat.

Ibrahim Sangare's goal in first-half injury time seemed to offer hope for Ivory Coast, but the VAR swiftly ruled it out for a clear offside. Another VAR decision denied the hosts in the 67th minute after Jean-Philippe Krasso's left-footed effort was deemed offside.

The Elephants' goal difference, crucial in the qualification battle, was dented in the final minutes as Jannick Buyla's rebound shot found the corner.

Drogba backs Nigeria after win against Ivory Coast

Sports Brief also previously reported on Didier Drogba backing Nigeria's Super Eagles, believing Jose Peseiro's charges can 'go far'.

The West Africans beat the Chelsea legend's own country and host nation 1-0 in front of their fans in the second round of the group stages.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team