AFCON 2023: Battle of Guineans in Abidjan in Group A decider

Posted : 18 January 2024

After going through the first round of qualifying matches of the ongoing 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D'Ivoire, the second round begins, which could be a decider about which country will eventually sail through the knockout stages.


For the second match of the day, the National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea will face the wounded Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.


The National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea held Nigeria to a draw in their AFCON 2023 opener. Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau, on the other hand, suffered a 0-2 loss in the host, Cote D'Ivoire.


Going into the match, it will be the first encounter between the two Guineans, the National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea, and Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. It’s also the first time that any of the three Guineas in CAF (Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau) will face each other in the tournament.


Prior to this match, the National Thunders of Equatorial Guinea and Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau last met in March 2022 in Portugal. The friendly ended 3-0 in favor of Guinea-Bissau.


Looking at the possible outcome, the National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea will fancy yet another opportunity to compound the woes of fellow Guineans after securing a hard-fought one point against the tournament favorites, Nigeria, with whom they played to a 1:1 draw.


The National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea could go unbeaten in their opening two games of a CAF Africa Cup of Nations for the third time, out of four participations, securing two wins in 2012 and two draws in 2015, only failing to do so in 2022 with one loss and one win.


The National Thunder of Equatorial Guinea has scored in each of their last two games at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and is looking to do so in three consecutive matches in the competition for the very first time.


After their 0-2 defeat to Côte d'Ivoire in the opening game, the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau could lose both of their opening two matches of a CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament for the first time.


They've now lost back-to-back games, conceding eight times in the process. Being last in Group A, Baciro Candé's men will need all the points they can get.


The Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau remain winless in 10 CAF Africa Cup of Nations games, with three draws and seven losses. Indeed, they have failed to score at all in their last eight since a 2-1 defeat to Cameroon in 2017.


The National Thunders of Equatorial Guinea are unbeaten in their last three group stage games at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations (W2 D1). They’ve never gone four such matches in a row without defeat in the competition.


For the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau, they have had 88 shots and gone 797 minutes at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations without scoring a goal, since Piqueti’s 13th-minute strike against Cameroon in January 2017.


Against Nigeria, Iban Salvador became the first Equatorial Guinea player to either score or assist in three different CAF Africa Cup of Nations editions (two goals, one assist). Since his debut in the competition in 2015, no player has had more shots (19) or more goal involvements (3) for the National Thunder.


As well as creating a game-high four chances, no Guinea-Bissau player completed more passes ending in the final third (7), won more duels (6), or was fouled (3) more than Alfa Semedo against Côte d'Ivoire in the opening game of this year’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations.


The outcome of the match will definitely either put pressure on the Super Eagles of Nigeria or serve as a face-saving moment for who will eventually sail through to the knockout stage.

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