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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