Africa Cup of Nations 2023: Equatorial Guinea’s ambitious squad aims for impact


Equatorial Guinea is gearing up for its fourth appearance in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations with high hopes and a strong squad. Coach Juan Micha Obiang has named a 27-player team for the tournament, which will be held in Côte d’Ivoire 2023. The Nzalang Nacional, as the team is affectionately known, is placed in Group A, facing stiff competition from Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, and Nigeria.

The squad selection reflects a strategic blend of experience and emerging talent, designed to navigate the challenges of a group that includes some of the continent’s football heavyweights. In the goalkeeping department, Jesus Lazaro Owono, Manuel Sapunga, and Aitor Mbela Gil are expected to provide solidity at the back. Each brings a unique set of skills to the team, ensuring that the goal is well-guarded.

The defense line is fortified by Basilio Ndong Owono, Carlos Akapo Martinez, Hugo Buyla Sam, Charles Nduelvisi Ondo, Saúl Basilio Coco, Mavin Jose Anieboh, Nestor Senra, José Elo Ayeto, and Esteban Orozco. Their role will be crucial in containing the attacks from some of the most formidable forwards in African football.

Midfielders Yannick Buyla, Luis Miguel Nlavo, Alex Balboa Banderas, Federico Bikoro, Iban Salvador Edu, José Machin Dicombo, Santiago Eneme Bocari, José Miranda Boacho, Pablo Ganet Comitre, and Federico Nguema bring a mix of creativity and defensive prowess. They will be essential in controlling the midfield, linking play between defense and attack.

The attacking force includes Noe Nsue Ela, Emilio Nsue Lopez, Salomon Asumu Obama, Oscar Siafa, and José Nabil Ondo. Their ability to break defenses and score goals will be key to Equatorial Guinea’s success in the tournament.

Equatorial Guinea’s journey in the Africa Cup of Nations has been one of steady progress, and this year, they aim to make a significant impact. The selection of the squad demonstrates a commitment to showcasing the nation’s football talent on a continental stage. With players who have proven their mettle in various leagues around the world, the Nzalang Nacional is poised to be a formidable opponent.

As the final list of 27 players awaits confirmation by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on January 3, anticipation builds for what promises to be an exciting campaign for Equatorial Guinea. With a mix of youth and experience, strategic planning, and a determined spirit, the Nzalang Nacional is set to make its mark in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Côte d’Ivoire 2023.

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