AFCON 2023: Equatorial Guinea’s Nsue apologises after loss to Guinea


Equatorial Guinea striker Emilo Nsue has apologised for missing a penalty in his team’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, Round of 16 defeat to Guinea on Sunday.

Nsue, who leads the 2023 AFCON scoring charts with five goals, missed a penalty in the second half against Guinea.

Guinea defeated Equatorial Guinea 1-0, thanks to a late stoppage-time strike from Mohamed Bayo.

“I apologise personally for my penalty miss,” Nsue said.

“They won at the last minute; we have to learn from our mistakes and keep working.”

AFCON: Equatorial Guinea 0-1 Guinea

Mohamed Bayo headed in a dramatic winner in the eighth minute of injury time as Guinea beat 10-man Equatorial Guinea 1-0 on Sunday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The last-16 tie at the Ebimpe Olympic Stadium in Abidjan was heading for extra time when Bayo, of French Ligue 1 side Le Havre, struck right at the death to spark frenzied scenes of celebration among the Guinea team and their large support.

It was a historic moment for the Syli National, who had never previously won a Cup of Nations knockout tie — they were runners-up in 1976, in an era when the final four played a round-robin format to decide the winner of the trophy.

Equatorial Guinea players slumped to the turf at the end while Guinea celebrated with their noisy support in a crowd of 36,340, as Abidjan’s sizeable Guinean community turned out in force for the occasion.

Guinea had appeared to be handicapped by coach Kaba Diawara’s decision to leave prolific VfB Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy -– scorer of 17 goals in the German Bundesliga this season -– on the bench at kick-off, with ex-Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita also dropping out.

Guirassy had missed Guinea’s first two group games and was replaced again here by Bayo.

The tie only came to life in the second half, with Guinea midfielder Mory Konate heading in a free-kick in the 53rd minute only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.

Moments later came the red card, with Tunisia-based Bikoro being dismissed for a reckless follow-through that saw him plant his studs into Bayo’s abdomen.

Guirassy was then introduced, but it was the 10 men of Equatorial Guinea who won a penalty on 67 minutes.

The Somalian referee was summoned to the pitchside monitor after Iban Edu went down under Sekou Sylla’s challenge as he tried to connect with a Pablo Ganet free-kick.

A spot-kick was duly awarded, but the competition’s top scorer Nsue could not take the chance to net his sixth goal of this AFCON, sending his penalty against the post and wide.

It was to prove crucial, as Guinea instead made the extra man count by scoring right at the end of injury time when Bayo strained his neck to head in a cross by the impressive Ibrahim Diakite.

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