Shots fired! Equatorial Guinea flex muscles ahead of FIFA World Cup 2026 African qualifiers against Flames in June

* Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia tie on six points after registering two wins in Match Day 1 & 2 in November

* Flames are 4th having won 1-0 against Liberia away and losing 0-1 at home

By Duncan Mlanjira

It was unimaginable that Equatorial Guinea would rout hosts Côte d’Ivoire with such a huge 4-0 victory but they did — leaving the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 hosts to rely on other results to avoid a shock group-stage exit.


The result should send shivers to the Flames’ coach, Patrick Mabedi as his team are grouped together with Equatorial Guinea in the FIFA World Cup 2026 African qualifiers — alongside Tunisia, Namibia, Liberia and São Tomé.

Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia tie on six points after registering two wins in Match Day 1 & 2 in November but Tunisia are at the top having a goal difference of 5 against Equatorial Guinea’s two.


The Flames, who beat Liberia 1-0 away in Monrovia before losing 0-1 at home against Tunisia a few days later, tie on 3 points with Namibia but Namibia are on 2nd position on goal difference.

Equatorial Guinea first overcame Namibia 1-0 and Liberia also 1-0 while Tunisia first beat São Tomé e Principe 4-0 before beating the Flames with Namibia seeing off Sao Tome e Principe 2-0.

Three of Group H opponents, Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia, Namibia are at the AFCON Côte d’Ivoire 2023 and will definitely come out of it with guns blazing.

Equatorial Guinea celebrate routing Côte d’Ivoire last evening

The next qualifying match for the Flames is against Equatorial Guinea to take place in June 2024 while the others are in 2025 (March, September, October and November).

The 23rd edition of the FIFA World Cup tournament is through a complex qualification as the final — to be hosted jointly by the United States of America, Mexico and Canada — will have 48 participating countries instead of the conventional 32 giving an advantage for Africa to field more teams.

The top team from each group after Match Day 10 shall earn an automatic qualification for the 2026 World Cup finals and additionally, the four best second-placed teams from all nine groups will engage in a continental playoff, determining a single victor who will then proceed to a second and final playoff. 

This final stage will comprise six teams from various confederations, with the top two emerging as qualified participants, ultimately making up the 48 competing teams.

The African qualifiers have Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Djibouti (Group A; Senegal, Congo DR, Mauritania, Togo, Sudan, South Sudan (Group B); Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Lesotho (Group C).

Group D has Cameroon, Cape Verde, Angola, Libya, Swaziland, Mauritius; Group E (Morocco, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania, Niger, Eritrea; Group F (Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, The Gambia, Burundi, Seychelles; Group G (Algeria, Guinea, Uganda, Mozambique, Botswana, Somalia).