Emilio Nsue’s second-half goal was enough to help Equatorial Guinea kick off their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a 1-0 victory against Namibia at Nuevo Estadio de Malabo on Wednesday.
Playing in front of their own fans in the Group H contest, the Nzalang Nacional looked the most dangerous side from the onset and they should have taken the lead in the 12th minute when captain Emilio Nsue found himself with enough space inside the Brave Warriors’ dangerzone but after controlling the ball well with his right foot, he hit a feeble shot which was dealt with by goalkeeper Lloyd Junior Kazapua.
In the 30th minute, Namibia’s Bethuel Muzeu became the first player to be booked for a clumsy challenge on Jose Machin, and a minute later, Absalom Limbondi was also yellow carded following another bad tackle on Pablo Ganet. Iban Salvador was the first Equatorial player to be booked for a tackle on Kennedy Amutenya in the 41st minute and the game headed into the half-time break tied at 0-0.
Immediately after the restart for the second half, Equatorial made their first change with defender Carlos Akapo coming out for Marvin Anieboh. Equatorial continued to search for the opening goal and Nsue missed another open sitter after being set up by Josete Miranda from the left wing.
In the 63rd minute, the Brave Warriors made a double change, Elmo Kambindu coming out for Uetuuro Kambato while Absalom Limbondi was rested for Prins Menelik Tjiueza. But despite the double change, it was Nzalang Nacional, who took the lead in the 67th minute when Nsue scored with his left foot off a cross from Salvador.