DATE: 17 January 2015
Venue: Estadio De Bata Stadium;
City: Bata, Equatorial Guinea
Time: 18:00 CAT
Match Result: Equatorial Guinea 1 – 1 Congo-Brazzaville
Goal scorers: Emilio Nsue (16′); Thievy Bifouma (87′)
The GSV Top Class Award
The fans who turned out for the opening game made a strong case for the Top Class award. The atmosphere was electric, the crowd was loud, and for that they deserve a mention. A few players also put in a decent performance in the opener, especially within the Equatoguinean side, but only one of them can claim The GSV Top Class Award.
The stand-out performer and worthy recepient of The GSV Top Class Award is Equatoguinean captain Emilio Nsue. While he, Javier Balboa and Iban Edu were all key to the hosts’ flair infested, highly entertaining style of play, it was the captain who carried the team, leading by example and serving as a source of inspiration for the players around him, and it was fitting for the occasion that it was he who opened the goal scoring for the tournament. Top class, Emilio Nsue.
The GSV Class Clown Award
Sadly for every Top Class award there has to be a class clown. The Congo-Brazzaville side were anonymous for parts of the game, as was probably expected, and there were no players who had a particularly poor game. The game ended in a draw, but many might argue that it should have ended 2-1 in favour of the hosts, after an Emilio Nsue chipped goal was incorrectly judged to be offside. For making an incorrect offside call and denying the hosts and their fans the victory, the linesman receives The GSV Class Clown Award. A good game should be decided by the sides outplaying and outwitting each other, not by a poor decision such as that one, sir.
The Grand Stand View
Overall, a much needed good game of football to open the tournamnet. From the turn out from the crowd, to the refreshing, attacking football, and of course, goals, it was 90 minutes well spent. As we had anticipated in the GSV Warm-up, the crowd played their role as 12th man for the hosts, and they probably deserved a better result to discuss on the way home. The nerves we said would affect the Spanish-born Equatoguineans, however, were not in attendance. The likes of Balboa and Nsue played with confidence, flair and a subtle arrogance that made for amazing viewing. The Congo-Brazzaville players may have been nervous, as this was their first game in an Afcon since 2000, but the fact that they managed to get the result will be a good sign for Claude Le Roy and his men going into their next fixture.
If this game is the tone-setter for the rest of the tournament, then it is sure to be a great couple of weeks.
Scoreline predictor: #GSVPredictor
Uncle Bob had predicted a 2-1 scoreline, while Sportsmano saw a 1-1 draw, so you can only imagine the reactions when Nsue’s goal was disallowed and when Thievy Bifouma scored. Sorry Uncle Bob.