Substitute Salomon Obama Ondo scored the winner at the death as Equatorial Guinea overturned a 2-1 deficit in added time to beat Libya 3-2 in a Group J Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Cairo on Wednesday.
The Mediterranean Knights looked set for a 2-1 win with 90 minutes gone on the clock, but the Equatoguineans showed admirable fighting spirit to score in quick succession and pick three points that take them level with Tanzania and the Libyans.
Libya had come from two goals down, scoring twice in four minutes in the second half but couldn’t finish the job.
Jose Antonio Miranda had given Equatorial Guinea the lead, with Libya levelling through Sanad Al Warfali’s penalty and debutant Mohamed Bettamer giving them the lead. But, in added time, Pedro Obiang and Obama Ondo scored in quick succession to turn the game around.
An exciting opening few minutes saw the post being hit on either end. Alsanousi Ammar hit the upright for the Libyans in the 21st minute with a low shot after an intelligent cutback from Moftah Taktak.
On the other end, the Equatoguineans also sounded the bar, this time Jose Machin Dicombo seeing his low shot from inside the box after being put through on goal rattle the post.
But the deadlock was broken after 33 minutes, Miranda striking a brilliant low shot into the net, setting himself up with the first touch and shooting with the second off Basilio Ndong’s pass.
In the second half, Libya came back a better outfit and were inspired to fight for the win.
They were level after 53 minutes when Sanad Al Warfali scored from the penalty spot after Amar was brought down inside the area by Equatorial Guinea goal scorer Miranda.
Four minutes later, they were 2-1 up when England born debutant Bettamer stretched to tap in unmarked at the back post after Mohamed Salih’s cross from the right took a wicked deflection to take the ball off keeper Ovono, Bettamer just guiding it home.
The Libyans were more confident and played with some determination after going ahead. They had a chance to stretch their tally in the 68th minute but Salih’s shot was blocked by the keeper.
Equatorial Guinea adopted a never say die attitude and Obiang’s belter of a shot from range made it 2-2 in the first minute of added time before Ondo buried home two minutes later with a strong shot from the right.
Group leaders Tunisia will meanwhile face Tanzania in the other fixture of the group and the Carthage Eagles will retain their position with victory over the Taifa Stars.