Senegal and Equatorial Guinea round off the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations when they go head to head at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium for a place in the last four on Sunday.
The National Thunder head into the game fresh off the back of another superb result after knocking out a significantly superior Mali side on penalties and will look to keep the juggernaut rolling.
Senegal picked up their most impressive result at the Africa Cup of Nations last Tuesday when they claimed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Cape Verde in the round of 16.
In a thrilling contest at the Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam, Liverpool star Sadio Mane broke the deadlock shortly after the hour mark before Marseille forward Ahmadou Bamba Dieng came off the bench to make sure of the result in the 92nd minute.
This followed an unbeaten run in the group stages, where they claimed a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in their group opener on January 10 before playing out successive goalless draws against Guinea and Malawi respectively to finish top of Group B.
While Aliou Cisse’s men have scored just three goals in the tournament, they have been imperious at the defensive end of the pitch, where they remain the only side yet to concede a goal so far.
Senegal are currently on a blistering 10-game unbeaten run across all competitions, picking up seven wins and three draws since crashing out of the COSAFA Cup on penalties against South Africa back in July 2021.
Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, are one of the surprise packages at the Africa Cup of Nations as they have made it to the last eight after causing a few upsets at the tournament.
Following an opening-day defeat at the hands of Ivory Coast on January 13, the National Thunder stunned defending African champions Algeria to a 1-0 victory four days later when Esteban Orozco scored a 70th-minute winner to get their campaign up and running.
Juan Micha’s men then picked up a second consecutive 1-0 victory when they saw off Sierra Leone in their final group outing on January 20 to progress to the knockout stages as runners-up in Group E with six points from three games.
Drawn against a significantly-superior Malian side in the round of 16, Equatorial Guinea stuck to the game plan all day, frustrating the Eagles and forcing penalties after a goalless 120 minutes.
The Central Africans held their nerves from 12 yards and secured a 6-5 victory on penalties with Santiago Bocari Eneme converting the all-important strike to send the Malians packing.
Equatorial Guinea head into Sunday’s game unbeaten in all but one of their last nine games across all competitions — claiming five wins and three draws — with their defeat against Ivory Coast being the only exception.
Senegal Africa Cup of Nations form:
Senegal form (all competitions):
Equatorial Guinea Africa Cup of Nations form:
Equatorial Guinea form (all competitions):
We say: Senegal 2-0 Equatorial Guinea
Senegal have been impenetrable so far and have stamped their name as genuine title contenders. Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, have proven they are no walkover, beating both Algeria and Mali en route to the last eight. While we expect another thrilling contest, we are backing the Lions of Teranga to come away with the win given the gulf in class and experience between the two sides.