The Zambia versus Equatorial Guinea match was played in the capital city Malabo, on the 29th January, in front of an expectant crowd of soccer fans that had gathered in the stadium with high hopes of their home team delivering the results. The game was crucial for Zambia's qualification to the last group of eight in the quarter finals.
The deciding match was cautiously played with each team not giving too much room to the opponent. The intentions of scoring by both teams were evident in the first few minutes which were characterized by blistering shorts at goal and long range free kicks from both sides. But despite their intentions, the two teams failed to alter the score line in the first half and they ended goalless at half time.
The second half didn't see any shift in the system of play by both Equatorial Guinea and Zambia. It wasn't until the 67th minute when the Zambian captain, Christopher Katongo broke off from his markers and scored to break the deadlock. To consolidate the lead, Zambian coach Herve Rernard brought in James Chamanga, a striker, who hadn't been in action since then.
The Zambian goal keeper Kennedy Mweene was kept busy by the Equatorial Guinean team playing to impress their fans. The second half goal saw Equatorial Guinea increasing their pace of play although it was evident both teams had made it to the quarter finals. The co hosts, who had been winning all their games so far, had an abrupt end of their winning spree against a determined Zambia. The final score of the Zambia versus Equatorial Guinea encounter stood at 1–0 in favor of Zambia.
To get to the top of Group A, Zambia beat Senegal 1–0 in their opener and drew 2 all with Libya, before finally locking horns with Equatorial Guinea, whom they humbled with a 1'0. Both teams, Zambia and Equatorial Guinea proceed to the quarter finals to be played on the 4th February 2012. Zambia takes on Sudan, the second best team in group B in Bata. The Zambia versus Equatorial Guinea encounter had lifted people's perceptions of the Zambia national soccer team from an underdog to a tournament favorite.
On the other hand, Equatorial Guinea won 1–0 against Libya in their opening match, then went on to dispose of pre tournament favorites Senegal with a 2–1 win, before losing the last game 1–0 to Zambia. This makes them the second best team in group A.
A lot of new talented players have made their debut at the African Cup of Nations [AFCON] with new teams like Botswana qualifying for the first time. This is the 28th edition of the African nations cup [AFCON] which is being co hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The competition, AFCON, is one of the greatest football events in Africa.
The cup brings together African talent playing both outside and inside the continent. This shows the growing importance of African football as can be seen by the number of players playing for professional clubs outside the continent.
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