AFCON 2024 – Equatorial Guinea: Squad, group, opponents & schedule

Led by Juan Micha, Equatorial Guinea began their AFCON 2024 campaign on Sunday, 14 January.

In this article, we'll provide everything you need to know about their group opponents, schedule and squad.

This year's competition is officially named AFCON 2023 since it was initially scheduled to take place last year but was postponed until January-February 2024.

Equatorial Guinea's AFCON 2024 schedule

Equatorial Guinea's opponents in Group A are Nigeria's Super Eagles, Guinea-Bissau and hosts Ivory Coast. Nzalang Nacional will play their three group matches at the Alassane Ouattara D’Anyama Olympic Stadium in Abidjan.

  • 14 January, 3 pm: Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea, (Alassane Ouattara D’Anyama Olympic Stadium)
  • 18 January, 9 pm: Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau, (Alassane Ouattara D’Anyama Olympic Stadium)
  • 22 January, 9 pm: Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast, (Alassane Ouattara D’Anyama Olympic Stadium)

How did Equatorial Guinea qualify for AFCON 2024?

Equatorial Guinea were paired in Group J of the AFCON 2024 qualifiers, where they met Tunisia, Botswana and Libya. They finished second with 13 points from a possible 18 (W4-D1-L1).

  • Game 1: Tunisia (4-0) Equatorial Guinea
  • Game 2: Equatorial Guinea (2-0) Libya
  • Game 3: Equatorial Guinea (2-0) Botswana
  • Game 4: Botswana (2-3) Equatorial Guinea
  • Game 5: Equatorial Guinea (1-0) Tunisia
  • Game 6: Libya (1-1) Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea's last 10 matches before AFCON 2024

  • Liberia (0-1) Equatorial Guinea – 2026 World Cup Qualifiers
  • Equatorial Guinea (1-0) Namibia – 2026 World Cup Qualifiers
  • Equatorial Guinea (0-0) Burkina Faso – Friendly
  • Libya (1-1) Equatorial Guinea – AFCON 2023 Qualifiers
  • Equatorial Guinea (1-0) Tunisia – AFCON 2023 Qualifiers
  • Botswana (2-3) Equatorial Guinea – AFCON 2023 Qualifiers
  • Equatorial Guinea (2-0) Botswana – AFCON 2023 Qualifiers
  • Equatorial Guinea (2-2) Togo – Friendly
  • Equatorial Guinea (0-0) Rwanda – Friendly
  • Equatorial Guinea (2-0) Libya – AFCON 2023 Qualifiers

Can Equatorial Guinea continue their tradition of reaching the knockout stages?

Equatorial Guinea will be participating in the Africa Cup of Nations for the fourth time since the inception of this tournament. They reached the knockout stages in their previous three outings.

As a matter of fact, Nzalang Nacional were semi-finalists when they hosted the AFCON 2015 event. They advanced to the quarter-final of the previous edition of this competition, losing to eventual champions Senegal.

Granted, Equatorial Guinea will have to navigate through a tough group that includes previous AFCON Champions like Nigeria and Ivory Coast. However, they have proven to be a tough team to beat these past few months.

Nzalang Nacional claimed six points from a possible six in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. At the time of writing, they are on a nine-match unbeaten run, with six wins and three draws.

Equatorial Guinea AFCON 2023
Photo by Icon sport

Equatorial Guinea's coach: Juan Micha

Former striker, Juan Micha, now 48 years old, had a modest career, earning three caps for the national team. He was previously an assistant in Fuenlabrada (Spain), before taking charge of Equatorial Guinea's U-20 women's team.

Micha proceeded to coach the U-17 women's team, as well as the U-20 men's team before becoming the head coach of Nzalang Nacional in October 2020. The 48-year-old guided his team to the quarter-finals of this event a couple of years ago and will look to achieve a similar feat at the AFCON 2023.

Player to watch: Emilio Nsue

At 34, Emilio Nsue is still roaring. He has been in sensational form for his country, scoring in his last four appearances for the national team. As it stands, Nsue has earned 39 caps with Nzalang Nacional, scoring 17 times. He currently plies his trade with Intercity FC in Spain's Primera Federación.

It's worth mentioning that Nsue represented Spain at various youth levels, before opting to play for Equatorial Guinea. Nzalang Nacional's captain will no doubt have an important role to play in this competition.

Equatorial Guinea's AFCON 2024 preparations

Ahead of the AFCON 2023, Equatorial Guinea squared off against Djibouti in a friendly match on 9 January.

Marvin Anieboh of Equatorial Guinea in AFCON 2023 qualifying game
Photo by Icon Sport

Equatorial Guinea's AFCON 2024 squad

Goalkeepers

  • Jesus Lazaro Owono (Deportivo Alaves, Spain)
  • Manuel Sapunga (Polokwane City, South Africa)
  • Aitor Embela Gil (Soneja, Spain)

Defenders

  • Basilio Ndong Owono (CS Universitatea Craiova, Romania)
  • Carlos Akapo Martinez (San Jose Earthquakes, USA)
  • Hugo Buyla Sam (Sampdoria, Italy)
  • Charles Nduevisi Ondo (Huddersfield B, England)
  • Saul Basilio Coco (Las Palmas, Spain)
  • Marvin Jose Anieboh (CD Illescas, Spain)
  • Nestor Senra (Real Avilés, Spain)
  • Jose Elo Ayeto (CDA Navalcarnero, Spain)
  • Esteban Orozco (FC Arges Pitesti, Romania)

Midfielders

  • Yannik Buyla Sam (SD Logroñés, Spain)
  • Luis Miguel Nlavo (SC Braga, Portugal)
  • Alex Balboa Bandeira (Huesca, Spain)
  • Federico Bikoro (Club Africain, Tunisia)
  • Iban Salbador Edu (Miedź Legnica, Poland)
  • Jose Machin Dicombo (Monza, Italy)
  • Santiago Eneme Bocari (MFK Vyskov, Czech Republic)
  • Jose Miranda Boacho (Niki Volou, Greece)
  • Pablo Ganet Comitre (CD Alcoyano, Spain)
  • Federico Nguema (FC Balti, Romania)

Forwards

  • Noe Nsue Ela (CD Numancia, Spain)
  • Emilio Nsue Lopez (Intercity FC, Spain)
  • Salomon Asumu Obama (UE Santa Coloma, Andorra)
  • Oscar Siafa (Alessandria, Italy)
  • Jose Nabil Ondo (Cano Sport, Equatorial Guinea)
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Kelechi Udoka

Kelechi is an avid Enyimba fan who enjoys writing about the beautiful game. He has written thousands of articles for a few publications over the years.