Equatorial Guinea edge Botswana in five-goal thriller

football28 March 2023 16:32| © Backpage TXT

Equatorial Guinea claimed a 3-2 win over Botswana in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group J match at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium on Tuesday.

The win elevated the National Thunder to the top of the group standings - two points clear of second-placed Tunisia, while the Zebras of Botswana remained fourth on the table.

The qualifying campaign will resume in June as Botswana play host to Libya and Tunisia will be away to Equatorial Guinea.

It took just 13 minutes for the National Thunder to break the deadlock as their inspirational captain Emilio Nsue scored from close range to hand Equatorial Guinea a 1-0 win.

The Zebras then fought back and they managed to level matters through Mbatshi Elias in the 38th minute - making it 1-1 with Lebogang Ditsele providing the assist.

However, Ditsele netted an unfortunate own-goal two minutes later as the towering player restored the visitors' lead and Equatorial Guinea were leading 2-1 at halftime.

Coach Juan Micha Obiang's side exerted pressure on the Zebras' defence after the restart and they extended their lead through Iban Salvador to make it 3-1 to Equatorial Guinea.

The hosts then pushed for another goal and they were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute which was converted by Kabelo Seakanyeng, but Equatorial Guinea held on to win 3-2.

Botswana (1) 2 (Elias 38', Keakanyeng 66')

Equatorial Guinea (2) 3 (Nsue 13', Ditsele 40', Salvador 51')

Botswana: Phoko, Gaolaolwe, Ditlhokwe, Johnson, Sechele (Maswena 76'), Ditsele, Cooper (Mabaya 61'), Seakanyeng, Kebatho (Kgamanyane 61'), Orebonye, Elias (Sesinyi 79').

Equatorial Guinea: Owono, Nsue (Lopez 82'), Obiang, Ndong, Coco, Ganet (Buyla 60'), Bikoro, Enrique, Balboa (Siafa 71'), Salvador (Hanza 83'), Miranda (Nlavo 71').