AFCON 2024: Host Ivory Coast facing exit after 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea

Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Singo sits on the ground after losing the AFCON match Equatorial Guinea at the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpe in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Jan. 22, 2024.
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Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast faced the brink of a humiliating exit from the Africa Cup of Nations as the hosts suffered a 4-0 defeat by Equatorial Guinea in their final Group A game in Abidjan on Monday.

The two-time champions now must endure a nervy wait to determine if they will advance to the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Despite a multitude of missed opportunities for the home team, Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue opened the scoring before the break, and Pablo Ganet unleashed a brilliant free kick after it. Two minutes before the end, Nsue, capped his performance with his fifth goal of the tournament.

Jannick Buyla completed the rout on a counterattack in the 88th minute.

This result propelled Equatorial Guinea into the knockout stage as the group winner with seven points.

In the other Group A match, Nigeria defeated Guinea-Bissau 1-0, securing second place on goal difference.

Ivory Coast is left with a faint hope that its three points will be enough to place among the four best third-place finishers, who also advance to the last 16.

Nigeria’s victory came courtesy of an own-goal by Opa Sanganté in the 36th minute, as the Guinea-Bissau defender attempted to intercept a cross intended for Victor Osimhen.

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