Emilio Nsue became the first player to score a hat-trick at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast as Equatorial Guinea roared to a convincing 4-2 victory against Guinea-Bissau in a Group A fixture at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara Stadium on Thursday.
The Nzalang Nacional took the lead in the 21st minute when Pablo Ganet showed great vision and laid the ball to lead striker Nsue, and the star player, who features for Primera Federación club CF Intercity, sunk the ball into the right side of the goal.
The Djurtus, who lost their Group opener 2-0 against hosts Cote d’Ivoire, drew level in the 38th minute when Equatorial Guinea defender Esteban Orozco scored into his net while trying to clear a dangerous ball and the two teams went into the half-time break tied at 1-1.
In the 47th minute, Josete Miranda made it 2-1 for Equatorial Guinea after he fastened onto a cross from Jesus Owono to hit the left corner past Guinea Bissau goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco. Nsue, who is Equatorial Guinea’s all-time leading scorer, scored the third in the 51st minute after he finished off an excellent cross from Basilio Ndong.
Nsue completed his hat-trick but the fourth goal for Nzalang Nacional in the 64th minute when he coolly slotted the ball past Ndong. The fourth goal arrived four minutes after Nsue had found the back of the net from close range but the goal was disallowed for offside after a VAR review.
After doing the damage, Nsue was replaced in the 85th minute for Noe Ela and at the final whistle, he became the first player to score a hat-trick in the AFCON since 2008, the first player to score a hat-trick in the on-going tourney and the first Equatorial Guinea player to score a hat-trick in the history of the tournament.
He also became the 18th player to score a hat-trick in the history of the tournament.
Equatorial Guinea XI: Owono; Akapo, Ndong, Fernandez, Bassey, Bicoro, Dicombo, Boacho, Ganet, Edu, Nsue.
Guinea Bissau XI: Ouparine Djoco; Fali Cande, Djalo, Manconi Mane, Jefferson Encada, Semedo, Moreto Cassama, Mauro Teixeira, Janio Da Silva, Mama Balde, and Franculino Dju.