|Anonma in an aerial tussle|
They went into the world cup as the underdogs wielding the element of surprise as their weapon of choice. They lost one of their own in a car crash a year ago.They left two of their best players behind when many questioned their sexuality. 2 days before they play their maiden game at the world cup,another key player is suspended by FIFA over eligibility matters. This is the story of Equatorial Guinea.
They started nervously against a new look Norway but gradually warmed themselves up by threading a couple of passes to their star and play maker, Geneveva Anonma who many have branded the revelation of the 2011 women's world cup. Anonma had the unenviable task of carrying her country on her shoulders as they batteled against the Norwegians but her team fell short when Norway punished them on the 84th minute mark when Haavi slotted home a loose ball parried into her path by Equatorial Guinea's goalkeeper,Miriam.
Anonma started the game with a slew of long ranged shots after dazzling with her beautiful foot work but she came up short when she squandered over 4 glorious chances which could have put the game beyond Norway's reach.
The Equatorial Guineans lived up to their billing as the surprise team as they matched Norway boot for boot and frustrated the highly rated team with their pace and tenacity.Indeed, many have become overnight fans of the "little engine that could"- Nzalang Femenina.Although they lost,they put up a splendid performance much to the admiration of the entire women's soccer world.
As they prepare to meet Brazil and Australia later on in the competiton,this young team will have to maintain the standard they have set against Norway by living up to the expectations of their new found fans.They will have to work on their composure through out the duration of the game and Anonma will need to involve her team mates(Diala andVania espeically) much more and work on her shot selection- a problem she will have to work on as quickly as possible. The missing piece in the puzzle of Equatorial Guinea's story rests in the hands of Anonma Diala and Vania.If these three can work cohesively not only can they win against the big guns,they are bound to advance in the competition barring all mishaps.
Though defeated,E.Guinea did not disappoint on their debut.I give them an "B" for effort with more room for improvement.Bring on Australia and Brazil !
Watch Highlights of Norway vs Equatorial Guinea
E.Guinea Starting 11: Miriam,Bruna,Dulcia,Carolina,Ana Cristina,Vania,Diala,Dorine,Jumaria,Christelle.
Subs: Emiliana,Natalia,SinforosamYao,Chinasa(Jumaria),Lucretia,Adriana(Diala),Maria Rosa,Fatoumata,Leticia(Chirstelle)