African Cup of Nations - Equatorial Guinea shock Senegal

Wed, 25 Jan 21:12:00 2012

A last-gasp Kily screamer saw Equatorial Guinea shock Senegal 2-1 in their African Cup of Nations Group A match - sending Senegal out and the co-hosts into the quarter-finals.

FOOTBALL Equatorial Guinea defender Kily celebrates scoring the winning goal against Senegal in their African Cup of Nations Group A match - 0

After a dreary first half the co-hosts, made up largely of semi-pro players from Spain's lower leagues, attacked pre-tournament favourites Senegal and were rewarded when Randy met Kily's fine cross with a 62nd-minute header.

Senegal, for whom star player Demba Ba was disappointing, threw everything at the Equatoguineans in the latter stages, and drew level with a minute left when substitute Moussa Sow finished from close range after a goal-mouth scramble followed a free-kick.

But in their eagerness to win the match Senegal left huge gaps at the back and, deep into injury time, a stunning long-range drive from Spanish-born right-back Kily sent the home fans and players into delirium.

Equatorial Guinea - who had never qualified for an African Cup of Nations - now have six points, having won their opener 1-0 against Libya; Senegal's second defeat means they cannot qualify, with Zambia on four points following a 2-2 draw with the Libyans.

The match almost never happened - torrential rain at Estadio de Malabo led to swamp-like conditions that delayed kick-off in Zambia-Libya for over an hour, meaning the home side's clash also kicked off late.

Thankfully the problems had subsided slightly, but it was still a waterlogged pitch, which ultimately played into the home side's hands.

Kily, who failed to make the grade at Atletico Madrid and now plies his trade for Langreo in Spain's semi-pro fourth tier, was the stand-out player as his bounding runs from right-back caused endless problems to a Senegal side who mostly play in the Premier League and France's top flight.

A fine rearguard action from centre-halves Rui Da Gracia and Laurence Doe were also vital, as the foreign-born pair put in brave blocks and tackles as Senegal piled the pressure on.

The hosts' star player, Javier Balboa of Portugal's Beira-Mar, was a willing and endless runner for his side, giving them an outlet on the break when defending late on.

But it was their optimism - and willingness to hunt for a win when most would have been content with the 1-1 draw after Sow scrambled home - that saw them emerge victorious with one of the goals of the tournament.

Doe was dismissed after the winning goal, apparently shown a second yellow card for over-celebrating, and he will miss the final group match against second-placed Zambia.

If Equatorial Guinea avoid defeat both sides will qualify for the last eight, with Libya needing a win against Senegal and a Zambia loss to stand a chance of progressing.

The finals, that run until mid-February, are being co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Reda Maher on Twitter @Reda_Maher / Eurosport

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