March 3, 2024

Emilio Nsue scores first AFCON hat-trick since 2008

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Emilio Nsue scores the first Africa Cup of Nations hat-trick since 2008 as Equatorial Guinea beat Guinea-Bissau 4-2 on Thursday to close in on a place in the last 16.

With the four best third-placed teams advancing to the last 16, the Nzalang Nacional (National Thunder) are ideally placed to progress as they look to emulate their run to the quarter-finals two years ago. Captain Nsue, 34, is the first player to score three times in one game at the Cup of Nations since Soufiane Alloudi did so in the first half for Morocco in a 5-1 win over Namibia at the 2008 edition in Ghana.

However, Nsue opened the scoring midway through the first half before a sparse crowd at the Ebimpe Olympic Stadium and added two more goals in the second half in a remarkable performance.

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The result leaves Equatorial Guinea, who held Nigeria 1-1 in their opening game, with four points in Group A, which also contains hosts Ivory Coast.

But with Mama Balde ready to take the kick, the Rwandan referee came across to review the images and eventually overturned his decision. Josete Miranda restored Equatorial Guinea’s lead two minutes after the restart, the assist coming from a long kick downfield by goalkeeper Jesus Owono.

In conclusion, Nsue then took center stage, converting a cross from the left flank on 51 minutes and then rounding the goalkeeper to complete his hat-trick just after the hour mark. The goal was eventually given after initially being ruled out for offside, with Ze Turbo pulling another one back for Guinea-Bissau late on.

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