Nsue's Hat-Trick Propels Equatorial Guinea Towards Second Round

Nsue’s Hat-Trick Propels Equatorial Guinea Towards Second Round

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Equatorial Guinea’s 34-year-old captain, Nsue, emerged as the standout performer on the pitch, securing a remarkable hat-trick as his team triumphed 4-2 against Guinea Bissau. The victory brings Equatorial Guinea a step closer to advancing to the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

Nsue’s exceptional second-half display, marked by three goals, was the first individual hat-trick at the competition since 2008. The Equatorial Guinea captain, who plies his trade in the Spanish Second Division, opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Pablo Ganet seized on a poor clearance by Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco, lofting the ball over the back-line to Nsue, who surged forward and expertly finished past Djoco.

Guinea-Bissau managed to equalize after 37 minutes when Mauro Rodrigues delivered a low cross into the box, and defender Esteban inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

Shortly thereafter, Guinea-Bissau was awarded a penalty for a perceived foul on Franculino Dju in the box by Saul Coco. However, VAR overturned the decision.

Equatorial Guinea seized the lead in the second half when Josete Miranda capitalized on a defensive error by Sori Mane, allowing him to break free and slot home.

Nsue then took center stage, exploiting Djoco’s inability to deal with Basilio Ndong’s cross and slotting home at the far post. He completed his hat-trick in the 60th minute, rounding Djoco to score before being substituted. Initially ruled out for offside, VAR ultimately confirmed the goal after a tense wait. Guinea-Bissau managed to pull another goal back through Ze Turbo just before full-time.

With this hat-trick, Nsue joins an exclusive group that includes Morocco’s Soufiane Alloudi, as well as legendary figures such as Samuel Eto’o, Hossam Hassan, and Benni McCarthy.

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