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E. Guinea reach last eight and eliminate Senegal
Published : 25 Jan 2012 22:46:26
Rank outsiders Equatorial Guinea reached the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals Wednesday and eliminated Senegal with a shock 2-1 triumph at rain-soaked Estadio de Bata.
Iban 'Randy' Iyanga put a team ranked 151 in the world ahead on 62 minutes, Moussa Sow equalised a minute from time but David Alvarez snatched the winner four minutes into stoppage time.
The 125/1 tournament co-hosts have a maximum six points and a draw with Zambia in Malabo Sunday will ensure a team that hired Brazilian coach Gilson Paulo less than three weeks ago top the table.
Zambia and Libya are also in contention for a knockout place with the former holding a three-point advantage after a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first half of a double-header that nearly did not take place because of torrential rain.
Equatorial Guinea stuck with the team that snatched a late winner over Libya in the opening match of the tournament last weekend, meaning no starting place for team captain Rodolfo Bodipo.
Senegal coach Amara Traore axed three of the team beaten by Zambia four days ago, including veteran captain and striker Mamadou Niang, with Sow and Remi Gomis the others.
Centre-back Kader Mangane was given the armband and into the Teranga Lions line-up came Issiar Dia, Dame N'Doye and recent Newcastle United signing Papiss Demba Cisse.
Dia from Turkish club giants Fenerbahce proved an inspired choice as he was a constant irritant to the Equatoguinean defence down the right flank, showing speed and skill in the area of the pitch worst affected by an earlier downpour.
While Senegal goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul was seldom tested, Brazil-born opposite number Danilo was kept busy as the visitors sought to break through at the 35,000-seat stadium in this port city.
A surging Dia run that ended with a superb clearing tackle from Laurence Doe signalled the intent of the Lions and Cisse came close when his close-range lob was tipped over by the Equatoguinean goalkeeper.
Cisse was let down by a poor first touch when in a threatening position before Demba Ba wasted the best chance of the half by sidefooting wide a Dia cross when he should at least have found the target.
When Danilo handled a long back pass from captain Juvenal Edjogo, he was cautioned and Senegal were awarded a free kick inside the penalty area that they wasted with a kick straight at a defender.
It was a different story after half-time with Equatorial Guinea pressing forward more and the predominantly Equatoguinean crowd erupted on 62 minutes when Iyanga headed his side into the lead.
Sow stunned the crowd by firing into the net a minute from time after a goalmouth scramble following a free kick only for Alvarez to rifle the winner past Coundoul.