Congo beats Eq. Guinea on penalties in 3rd place game
Feb. 07, 2015
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea (AP) — Congo beat host Equatorial Guinea 4-2 in a penalty shootout on Saturday after the third place game at the African Cup of Nations ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.
Javier Balboa and Raul Fabiani missed Equatorial Guinea's first two spot-kicks. Cedric Mongongu sealed victory for the Congolese, sending his penalty into the top right corner.
The teams were goalless after a lackluster contest at a half-empty Malabo Stadium. The third place game at the African Cup skips extra time and goes straight to penalties.
It capped a fairly miserable week for Equatorial Guinea, which lost 3-0 to Ghana in the semifinals at the same stadium in Malabo and was fined $100,000 for the fan violence that marred that game.
The shootout was the first so far at the African Cup. Ivory Coast plays Ghana in the final on Sunday.
Few Equatorial Guinea fans turned up on Saturday, with swathes of empty seats across the stadium.
Congo and Equatorial Guinea struggled to create any major excitement for the spectators who did come. Congo's Yannick Bolasie had maybe the best chance of the game late in the first half when he controlled a long diagonal pass and, bearing down on the goalkeeper, sliced his shot wide of the right post.
Balboa was a hero for Equatorial Guinea with a last-minute penalty in the win over Tunisia in the quarterfinals. But he missed the first penalty of the shootout, pushing it high and to the right. Fabiani had his penalty saved by veteran Congo keeper Robert Kidiaba.
The Congolese converted all theirs with Mongongu making sure of victory.
It was Congo's best result at an African Cup since finishing third in 1998. Equatorial Guinea made the last four for the first time in its history.