Equatorial Guinea pull off shock win to end Algeria's 35-match unbeaten run

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Equatorial Guinea pull off shock win to end Algeria's 35-match unbeaten run
© THAIER AL-SUDANI Equatorial Guinea’s Esteban Obiang celebrates with teammates after the 1-0 victory over Algeria at Stade de Japoma, Douala, Cameroon. AFP

Equatorial Guinea led a string of upsets at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday when they beat holders Algeria, to end the title-holders’ 35-games unbeaten run.

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Ivory Coast and Mali also suffered shock defeat to unfancied opponents, but few had predicted Equatorial Guinea pulling off one of the biggest shocks ever seen at the tournament.

They were well worth their victory, outclassing Algeria 1-0, ending a run of 35 unbeaten internationals and relegating the defending champions to last place in Group E.

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Equatorial Guinea pull off shock win to end Algeria's 35-match unbeaten run
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Their heroics in Douala has shaken up the tournament where many of the heavyweight contenders have been caught off guard.

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But few would have expected Algeria, unbeaten since October 2018, to go down to a country with a population of just 1.4-million.

Defender Esteban Obiang scored from a corner in the 70th minute to keep up a day of upsets after debutants Gambia held Mali and Sierra Leone, competing at the finals for the first time since 1996, were gifted a last-gasp equaliser to draw 2-2 with a powerful Ivory Coast team.

Only Tunisia ensured some normality as they beat Mauritania 4-0 in Limbe to revive their hopes in Group F.

Algeria’s defeat leaves them needing a win over Ivory Coast in their last group match on Thursday to stand any chance of advancing to the last 16.

Gambia rode their luck as they were awarded a last minute penalty to draw 1-1 with Mali in Group F.

Both goals in the match were scored from spot kicks after the referee had consulted VAR. Mali went ahead in the 78th minute through Ibrahima Kone before Musa Barrow equalised after a fortuitous last-gasp handball call.

Gambia, competing at their first final, share top place in Group F with Mali on four points, one ahead of Tunisia.

Tunisia revived their chances and eliminated Mauritania, who join Zimbabwe as the teams heading home.

On Monday, Group A is decided with host Cameroon up against the Cape Verde Islands and Burkina Faso taking on Ethiopia.

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