DATE: 17 January 2015
Venue: Estadio De Bata Stadium;
City: Bata, Equatorial Guinea
Time: 18:00 CAT
Form guide (Last 3 Qualifiers): Equatorial Guinea: L W
17 May: Mauritania 1 – 0 Equatorial Guinea
1 June: Equatorial 3 – 0 Mauritania
Form guide (Last 3 Qualifiers): Congo Brazzaville: D L W
15 October: South Africa 0 – 0 Congo-Brazzaville
15 November: Congo-Brazzaville 0 – 2 Nigeria
19 November: Sudan 0 – 1 Congo-Brazzaville
Both sides go into the opening fixture of the tournament with points to prove. Equatorial Guinea, who had been disqualified for fielding an ineligible player, were handed an opportunity to qualify as hosts, and will be looking to make the most of that chance. With a young side that includes a lot of uncapped players, some of which are Spanish-born and have no experience in African football, nerves are expected to show early in the game for the Equatoguineans, but the atmosphere of the occasion and the support from the fans should carry Becker’s young troops through.
Congo-Brazzaville have surprised many circles by qualifying ahead of defending champions Nigeria, so the confidence within the side is at a relative high. Having missed out on the tournament since the 2000 edition, they will be looking to play freely and with the same confidence that saw them through the qualifiers. Coach Claude Le Roy, starting his record 8th Afcon, will hope for a winning start, but against the host nation, a draw might be a satisfactory result for the veteran gaffer.
Scoreline Predictions: #GSVPredictor
Uncle Bob’s Prediction: Equatorial Guinea 2 – 1 Congo-Brazzaville
SportsMano’s Prediction: Equatorial Guinea 1 – 1 Congo-Brazzaville