Our prediction for this Africa Cup of Nations 2022 match:
Ivory Coast will be aiming to kick off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign in style when they take on Equatorial Guinea at Japoma Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Elephants missed out on a place at the 2022 World Cup finals, meaning that they are eager to go all the way at the 2021 AFCON. Premier League stars Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe both made the cut, while Ajax attacker Sebastien Haller is widely expected to lead the line for the nominal visitors.
Equatorial Guinea, on the other hand, were producing fine displays in the World Cup qualifiers, but they eventually failed to book their place at the showpiece tournament in Qatar. Anyhow, Juan Micha’s troops face an uphill task in their opener as there are a number of high-profile footballers in the Ivory Coast squad. In their last meeting at the Africa Cup of Nations, back in 2012, the Elephants defeated the National Thunder 3-0.
Highlighted Player (Emilio Nsue):
Emilio Nsue is a pacey winger who was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on September 30, 1989. After starting his youth career at Atletico Baleares, he moved to Mallorca football academy in 2004 and he continued playing for los Bermellones at senior level.
Nsue scored 13 goals in 142 appearances for the club and you should know that he played for the likes of Castellon and Real Sociedad on loan from 2008 to 2010. In the summer of 2014 he moved to England, signing a three-year deal with Middlesbrough as a free agent. Emilio Nsue made his debut for the Boro on August 9 in a 2-0 win over Birmingham City at Riverside Stadium.
After making 70 appearances in the league for Middlesbrough, he joined Birmingham City on January 18, 2017 on a three-and-a-half-year deal. Despite being born in Spain, Nsue represents Equatorial Guinea national football team on the international stage. Nsue made his debut for Equatorial Guinea on March 21, 2013 in an unofficial friendly game against Benin.
Highlighted Team (Ivory Coast):
Over the years Ivory Coast have established themselves as one of the best African teams. The Elephants won their second Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2015, with the team beating Ghana in the final of the tournament. Ivory Coast defeated the Black Stars on penalties and it has to be noted that goalkeeper Boubacar Barry scored the winner.
A number of high-profile footballers played (or play) for the Ivory Coast national team, but, no doubt, the most notable players are Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Salomon Kalou and Gervinho. Ivory Coast are well known for their orange kit, but they play their away games in green shirts and green shorts. Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny is regarded as the team’s home stadium.
Didier Zokora is the player with the most caps for the Ivory Coast national team (123), while aforementioned attacker Didier Drogba is the team’s top scorer (65 goals). Drogba is the symbol of the Ivory Coast football and the former Chelsea man played for the national team from 2002 to 2014.