Emilio Nsue, the ageless skipper of Equatorial Guinea, carved his name into the tapestry of AFCON history with a thunderous hat-trick against Guinea-Bissau. At 34, the former Middlesbrough and Birmingham full-back turned timekeeper, rewinding the clock to 2008 and becoming the first player in 15 years to net a treble in the prestigious continental tournament.
His first was a predator’s instinct personified, pouncing on a defensive error and burying the ball past the hapless Guinea-Bissau keeper. The second, a moment of resilience after conceding an unlucky own goal, saw Nsue capitalize on a defensive lapse to restore his side’s lead. But it was the third, a clinical finish after rounding the keeper, that truly sent goosebumps across the stadium.
With this feat, Nsue joins the pantheon of AFCON legends, his name etched alongside Eto’o, Benni McCarthy, and Hossam Hassan in the pantheon of hat-trick heroes.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 18, 2024
with four points from two matches, Equatorial Guinea sit atop Group A, dreaming of an improbable journey deep into the tournament. Whether they reach the summit or not, one thing is certain: Emilio Nsue, the veteran skipper, has rewritten the script, reminding everyone that age is just a number, and magic, on nights like this, can strike at any time.
Focus is now on the Côte d’ivoire vs Nigeria game at the Alassane Ouattara stadium.