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Ivory Coast suffered a devastating 4-0 defeat at home to Equatorial Gunea

The host team entered the final Group A fixtures of the AFCON with high hopes of securing a spot in the last 16, needing only a draw.

However, they were stunned by Equatorial Guinea, suffering a devastating 4-0 loss at home. Equatorial Guinea’s seasoned captain Emilio Nsue led the charge, scoring twice, with additional goals coming from a free-kick by Pablo Ganet and a late effort from substitute Jannick Buyla.

As a result, Equatorial Guinea secured the top spot in Group A, ahead of Nigeria, who secured second place with a 1-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau. Ivory Coast now faces an anxious wait to see if their three points will be enough to secure a spot as one of the four best third-placed teams, although their poor goal difference presents a significant hurdle.

Despite having scoring opportunities, Ivory Coast failed to avoid the distressing defeat, including having goals disallowed for offside. The absence of key player Sebastien Haller, despite earlier indications of his return from injury, was felt. The match’s conclusion was marked by an angry atmosphere, with boos from the stands and frustrated fans attempting to enter the pitch.

Looking ahead, Equatorial Guinea’s victory sets them up for a last-16 match against a third-placed team from Groups C, D, or E. Nigeria is set to face the runners-up from Group C, likely Guinea or Cameroon. If Ivory Coast advances, they would play either Group B winners Cape Verde or the expected winners of Group C, Senegal, in the following weekend’s fixtures.