AFCON2021: Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone Causing the Biggest Upsets

By Augustine Nyuykongi

The 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations, AFCON2021 hosted by Cameroon is yet to get halfway, but there are already massive upsets from so-called underdogs in the tournament.

Yesterday’s round two games of group E have been described by many as the biggest upsets there ever was in the AFCON tournament, with teams like Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea standing up to tournament favorites Ivory Coast and Algeria respectively.

In Sierra Leone’s game against Ivory Coast, the Elephants were unexpectedly matched by Sierra Leone in a 2-2 scoreline, denying Ivory Coast the chance of getting a direct qualification to the knockout rounds. 

Sierra Leone who only qualified for the tournament for the first time in 26 years and had traveled to Cameroon via a boat due to lack of resources, was widely expected to be a walkover by other teams in Cameroon.

However, with two strong outings against Algeria in the first game which unprecedentedly ended 0-0, and against Ivory Coast which ended 2-2, Sierra Leone now stands and has a considerable chance of making it to the next round should they beat Equatorial Guinea in their final game.

The biggest upset perhaps belongs to Equatorial Guinea, after their shock 1-0 victory against title Algeria, at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.Β 

Before the defeat, Algeria was not only considered the most fearsome African team, also considered by several football pundits as the outright favorite to retain the title.

Algeria was also chasing a world of going 35 games unbeaten, the longest unbeaten streak ever by an African country, till they met with Equatorial Guinea.

Their defeat against the Equatoguineans means they now have just 1 point in two games at the ongoing tournament, and no goal scored. This also implies that should the Algerians fail to defeat Ivory Coast in their final group games, they will crash out at the group stage of the tournament after meeting with Sierra Leone, and Equatorial Guinea.Β 

These upsets in the tournament have had multiple football fans delighted at its unpredictability. Many see the upsets as a sign of improvement from the lesser teams which in a global look, boosts the level of the tournament in comparison to others.

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