Jan 17, 2015 at 4pm UK
Eq GuineaEquatorial Guinea
Nsue (16')
Mbele (26'), Ovono (81'), Balboa (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Bifouma (87')
Moubhio (24')

Live Commentary: Equatorial Guinea 1-1 Congo - as it happened

Joseph Yobo and team mates celebrate with the trophy after winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final match between Nigeria and Burkina at FNB Stadium on February 10, 2013
© Getty Images
Follow Sports Mole's live coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations match between host nation Equatorial Guinea and Congo.

Congo came from behind late on to share a 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in the opening match of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The host nation took the lead when Emilio Nsue fired the ball in just 16 minutes into the match.

However, Congo got back on level terms inside the final five minutes when Thievy Bifouma sliced the ball in from a tight angle.

Read how all the action unfolded below:

3.32pmGood afternoon! It's just half an hour until the action gets underway at this year's Africa Cup of Nations, with the host nation, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo. Let's take a look at the team news...

3.34pmEQUATORIAL GUINEA STARTING XI: Ovono, Da Graca, Mbele, Iban, Emilio Nsue, Javier Balboa, Enrique Boula, Ivan, Sipo, Ivan Zarandona, Pablo Ganet

3.36pmCONGO STARTING XI: Mafoumbi, Nganga, Ngounga, Baudry, Babele, Oniangue, Ndinga, Gandze, Bouka, Ferebory, Bifouma

3.39pmMiddlesbrough's Emilio Nsue starts for the host nation this afternoon. Estoril winger Javier Balboa and San Sebastian's Pablo Ganet will also be providing the threat for Equatorial Guinea, who have a mainly European-based squad for this tournament.

3.42pmAlmeria's Thievy Bifouma helped Congo end their 43-year absence from this tournament during qualifying, and he'll be leading the attack again this afternoon. Congo have been having something of a resurgence in the last few years, and are 23 places higher in the FIFA rankings now than when the 2013 tournament was held. They are currently 61st in the world.

3.45pmIt'a all been a bit of a rush for Equatorial Guinea to get ready for this tournament. Less than two months ago they stepped in as hosts when Morocco pulled out amid fears over the ongoing Ebola crisis. They've also only appointed a new coach in the last few days, with Argentine Esteban Becker taking charge of the side.

3.48pmAhead of his first match with his new side, Becker told reporters: "We want to surprise a few people. We will take things one game at a time and try to do well for the people of the country who are all behind us. We have a new young squad of players who play in the lower leagues in Spain. I called up hungry young players and I hope they do well."

3.51pmThere's a certain weight of expectation on the hosts going into their first game, as the home country has not lost their opening match since Burkina Faso held the event in 1998. This is not the first time Equatorial Guinea have hosted the event though, as they shared the duties with Gabon in 2012, when they opened with a 1-0 win over Libya.

3.53pmThis will be the seventh competitive meeting between these two nations. In the six previous mathces, Congo have come away with five wins.

3.56pmThe Estadio de Bata, which hosts this afternoon's match, will also be the venue for the final. It has a capacitu of 37,500, and it looks like it's more or less full for the opening fixture.

3.58pmThe players have just made their way out to the middle ready for kickoff. As will be the case for all matches in this tournament, the national anthems of both countries will be played ahead of kickoff.

4.01pmThe two squads come together before kickoff behind a banner in support of the fight against ebola. Kickoff should just be moments away now.

1 minKICKOFF! Equatorial Guinea get the first half underway.

3 minCHANCE! Congo breath a sigh of relief as Javier Balbao just can't get his shot away in time. Congo lose the ball in midfielder, allowing Mangue to charge towards the goal. He crosses in towards Nsue, but the Middlebsrough man can't jump high enough, and Balbao seems surprised when it falls to him, allowing N'Ganga to make the clearance.

5 minThe host nation have made a really bright start so far as Kike tries to create something for Equatorial Guinea before Bolada makes a clearance down the other end.

8 minCHANCE! Reims midfielder Prince Oniangue has the first shot of the afternoon for Congo as he unleashes a powerful effort from 30 yards out, but he doesn't get quite enough dip on it.

10 minThere's an injury concern for both sides as Ivan and Baudry clash in the air while both battling for a high ball forward, but it looks like they'll both be alright to continue.

12 minCHANCE! Felipe Ovono has to make his first save of the afternoon as Thievy Bifouma times a burst into the box to try and slice the ball in from a tight angle, but the keeper is ready for it.

14 minIvan Edu makes a run towards the Congo goal as he tries to create an opening for the host nation, but he's crowded out as he tries to turn in the box and can't get the shot away.

16 minCongo immediately try to put the host nation under pressure down the other end, but Ferebory Dore's cross into the box is watched carefully by Ovono, who claims it. Moutou quickly wins it back and tries to catch him out with a low strike, but the keeper is ready again.

16 minGOAL! Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Congo (Emilio Nsue)

16 minEquatoria Guinea's captain, Emilio Nsue, has opened the scoring in the first game of the tournament with a stunning solo effort. He runs in from midfield before drawing the keeper off his line for slicing it into the bottom left corner.

19 minCongo immediately try to get Bifouma involved as they look to get back on level terms, but the Almeria striker is being closely marked by a well-organised Equatorial Guinea back four.

22 minCongo have been dominating the possession since falling a goal behind, but they haven't really created a great deal with it. The host nation had kept their formation very fluid in the opening 20 minutes, but they've started to tighten up in the last few minutes.

24 minBOOKING! Boris Moubhio has the dubious honour of being the first player to pick up a booking in this year's Africa Cup of Nations for a reckless challenge on the goalscorer.

26 minBOOKING! Diosdado Mbele is also shown a yellow card as he brings down Arnold Bouka Moutou, giving Congo a free kick in a promising position.

28 minCHANCE! N'Ganga whips the ball in, and the keeper comes off his line to claim it, but he misreads the ball, leaving Marvin Baudry a free header at the far post, but he somehow nods it wide.

29 minCHANCE! Ovono has to make another save as Bifouma is left with space on the edge of the box, but his finish lacks power, leaving the Equatorial Guinea keeper with an easy save.

32 minBoth sides are having a few problems with offside. Iban Edu mistimes a run into the Congo box to give the ball back to their opponents, but Ferebory Dore immediately loses it down the other end when he makes the same error.

35 minThe host nation have the first corner of the afternoon, but Mafoumbi comes off his line to punch it away. His defenders don't do the best job of finishing off the clearance, but they do just enough to prevent Equatorial Guinea from extending their lead.

38 minCHANCE! Iban Edu spots Mafoumba lurking on the edge of his box, so takes on the shot from almost on the half way line. The Congo keeper scrambles backwards though, and just manages to parry it clear. What a spectacular goal that would have been.

41 minCongo go on the attack again as they try to get back on level terms before the break, but Bifouma's high ball into the box is cleared before Dore can get a turn in.

44 minCesaire Gandze crosses the ball in towards Dore, but his effort was blocked. Oniangue has a chance on the rebound, but his hurried shot flies high into the crowd behind the goal.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Congo

4.53pmSo at the interval it's just Emilio Nsue's goal that separates the sides. Equatorial Guinea had been expected to be the underdogs in Group A, but they've looked more than capable of competing so far.

4.57pmLet's take a look at some of the stats from the first 45 minutes. Congo had the majority of the possession with 58%. The host nation officially had just the one shot, but that did result in a goal, while Congo had seven effort, three of which were on target. It's been quite a scrappy affair, with 14 fouls from Equatorial Guinea and five from Congo.

5.04pmThe players are starting to make their way back out for the second half.

46 minKICKOFF! Congo get the second half underway.

46 minSUB! Equatorial Guinea make a change at the start of the second half as Pablo Ganet, who was quiet in the opening spell, makes way for Viera Ellong.

49 minIban Edu might be lucky to still be on the pitch as he appears to throw his arm back, catching Cesaire in the both with his elbow. The Congo man is being stretchered off, and his side have been awarded a free kick, but there's no card for the Equatorial Guinea forward.

52 minBifouma whips the free kick in, but Mbele is there to head it clear for the host nation. There hasn't been much to do for either goalkeeper since the action got back underway.

55 minEquatorial Guinea win a corner, but Edu takes it short, and Balboa is caught out and can't control the ball. Bifouma tries to catch the host nation out with a burst down the other end, before pulling it back to Ndinda on the edge of the box, but his strike was well high of the target.

58 minBouka Moutou works his way towards the Equatorial Guinea goal, but his through-ball intended for Dore fails to connect with the target.

60 minSUB! Equatorial Guinea make their second change of the match as Senobua makes way for Evan Bolado.

62 minCHANCE! Bolado almost has an immediate impact as he threads to ball forward to Balboa, but the Equatorial Guinea forward was watched all the way by Mafoumbi, who just gets down in time to make the save, although it wasn't the best finish from the striker.

63 minSUB! Just as the Balboa chance was happening, Congo prepared their first sub, sending on Fabrice Ondama for Cesaire Gandze.

65 minSUB! It's another change for Congo as Ferebory Dore, who hasn't had the service he needs up front, makes way for Ladislas Dounima.

67 minConga win their first corner of the match, but the delivery is swiftly dealt with and Nsue tries to catch them out with a counter-attack, but the move comes to nothing.

69 minCHANCE! Dounima has a chance to equalise just minutes after coming off the bench. He got the ball on the edge of the box after Bifouma's path was blocked, but he took a touch too many, giving Ovono time to get ready for the shot.

71 minCHANCE! Nsue has a chance to add his second of the game as Balboa threads the ball in for the captain, but Mafoumbi gets down to turn his low strike behind.

74 minDISALLOWED GOAL! Emilio Nsue thinks he's caught the keeper out with a well-timed run, and he dinks it over Mafoumbi to add his second goal of the afternoon. However, the assistant referee belatedly raises the flag, although the TV replays make it look like the forward was onside. Equatorial Guinea's coach is fuming in his technical area.

76 minEquatorial Guinea have been looking really dangerous in the last 10 minutes as they try to put the win beyond doubt, but they just can't get the finishing touch right at the minute.

78 minConga try to catch Equatorial Guinea out with a counter-attack, but Dounima's curling ball in towards Bifouma is diverted into the hands of the keeper.

79 minSUB! Congo make their final change as Hibernian's Dominique Malonga takes the play of Arnold Bouka Moutou. It's an attacking move from Congo, replacing a midfielder with a striker.

81 minBOOKING! In a moment of madness, Felipe Ovono races out of his box to try and block Bifouma with a reckless challenge near the corner flag. The goalkeeper ends up with a yellow card for his efforts, although some referees may have given a red for such a high-speed two-footed challenge.

83 minOFF THE POST! Congo have a free kick as a result of the challenge, and Baudry rises highest to try and head it in, but his finish rattles back off the left post. That's a huge let-off for the host nation.

85 minEquatorial Guinea have just forgotten how to defend in the last few moments as Bifouma quickly sets up another chance for Congo, forcing a corner, but Rui manages to clear Ondama's set piece.

86 minCongo force yet another corner, but Ovono takes charge with a powerful punch clear of the box, before N'Ganga blasts the rebound behind.

87 minGOAL! Equatorial Guinea 1-1 Congo (Thievy Bifouma)

87 minIt's been coming for a new minutes now, but Congo are finally back on level terms in the opening match of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Dominque Malonga bursts down the win before Thievy Bifouma cuts inside to meet his teammate's cross in, and he squeezes it beneath the keeper from a tight angle.

89 minBOOKING! Balboa picks up a silly booking for timewasting during a free kick.

90 minCHANCE! Bifouma and Malonga team up again, with Bifouma turned provider this time, but the Hibernian forward's weak finish from close range is well held by Ovono.

90 minBoth sides have three minutes of stoppage time to try and force a late winner.

90+1 minSUB! The host nation try to waste some more time as Iban Edu makes way for Belima.

90+3 minCHANCE! Congo aren't settling for the draw as Malonga curls the ball in again, this time with Ondama waiting in the middle, but keeper makes the save.

90+3 minFULL TIME! Equatorial Guinea 1-1 Conga

5.57pmThievy Bifouma's late equaliser denied the host nation a win in the opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations after Emilio Nsue had given Equatorial Guinea the lead. Equatorial Guinea had looked the stronger side for much of the match, but they collapsed in the final 10 minutes to almost throw it away completely.

5.58pmWell that's all from this match, but stick around as the other two nations in Group A, Gabon and Burkina Faso, will be kicking off in a little over an hour. Until then, thanks for joining me this evening, goodbye.

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