Congo Rescue A Point In AFCON Opener
Africa Cup of Nations - Group A
Result: Equatorial Guinea 1-1 Congo
Date: 17 January 2015
Venue: Estadio de Bata
A late strike from Thievy Bifouma helped Congo Brazzaville claim a 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in the opening match of the 2015 Afcon.
The hosts looked lively early on, as Javier Balbao saw his effort blocked, after he was left un-marked at the back post.
Prince Oniangue had Congo's first effort of the game in the eighth minute, but his powerful strike from distance sailed just over the crossbar.
It was the hosts who got the first goal of the tournament, courtesy of a well-taken finish from Equatorial Guinea captain, Emilio Nsue, from six-yards out.
Bifouma was proving to be a tricky customer for hosts and he came close to opening the scoring in the 38th minute but his effort from the edge of the area was palmed away by Ovono.
Balbao should have doubled the home side's lead in the 60th minute, the winger played a neat one-two before firing an effort straight at Mafoumbi.
Ovono Mbang came to Equatorial Guinea's rescue in the 67th minute, as the goalkeeper got down well to keep out Ladislas Dounima's low curling effort.
Nsue continued to trouble the Congolese defence and had another effort thwarted by Mafoumbi, before he had goal disallowed minutes later, although replays suggested he was onside.
It prove to an end-to-end encounter in the second half and Congo nearly found themselves level in the in the 82nd minute but Ngounga's free-kick crashed against the upright, although Marvin Baudry should have nodded it in from point-blank range.
Congo managed to secure a point in the 87th minute, the striker latched onto a ball from Dominique Malonga, before finishing under Ovono.
Here's how they lined up:
Equatorial Guinea: Ovono, Da Graca, Mbele, Iban, Nsue, Javier Balboa, Boula, Ivan, Sipo, Ivan Zarandona, Ganet
Congo: Mafoumbi, F. Nganga, Mouhibo, Moutou, Oniangue, N'Dinga, Dore, Bifouma, Gandze, Baudry, Babele
Equatorial Guinea's next Group A clash against Burkina Faso on 20 January 2015, will be broadcast on SuperSport 4 at 18h00.