It could be argued that this is the battle of the bulwarks with Senegal and Equatorial Guinea conceding just one goal across their eight games combined. Aliou Cisse’s men come in with the most watertight defence, keeping four clean sheets on the spin, while the National Thunder have shipped in just the single goal.
Despite boasting one of the most formidable attacks on paper, The Lions of Teranga haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders, largely relying on Kalidou Koulibaly and Co to lock down the backline, as they nearly played out three successive 0-0s in the groups, were it not for Sadio Mane’s 97th-minute winner vs Zimbabwe.
Equatorial Guinea meanwhile enter this phase of the competition as a bit of a surprise package, and are now a dark horse to advance to the semis and record their best ever finish in Afcon history. They have matched their most productive campaign here having reached the quarters in 2012, and may yet go one better.
Having not qualified for the previous two tournaments, Juan Micha’s men have done superbly to reach the final eight here. Skippered by former Birmingham and Middlesbrough forward, Emilio Nsue, Equatorial Guinea have already claimed the scalp of champions Algeria and will back themselves to produce another upset.
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Senegal vs Equatorial Guinea: Match Stats
When you have the Best FIFA Goalkeeper of 2021 between the sticks, it’s fairly likely you’ll keep more clean sheets than not, such is Edouard Mendy’s impervious presence at the back. He may have only returned on matchday three of the groups, carrying on from Seny Dieng’s fine work, but his form could prove decisive here.
At the other end of the pitch, Sadio Mane will be looking to carry on his scoring streak from the previous few games. The Liverpool forward has found the back of the net twice at Afcon 2021, including last time out against Cape Verde, which also coincided with him withdrawing from the match with a head injury.
Senegal have since posted on their social media page images of Mane in the gym with the caption “Sadio is doing well,” so they will be hopeful he makes a full recovery and can take part on Sunday, which he is expected to do.
25 Jan 2012 – Equatorial Guinea 2-1 Senegal – AFCON
These nations have met only three times, all of which have occurred across the last decade. The most notable fixture is that 2-1 win to Equatorial Guinea in the 2012 Afcon tournament. The National Thunder claimed a 2-1 win to finish second in Group B before going out in the quarter-finals to Ivory Coast.