BATA, Equatorial Guinea _ A controversial penalty at the 90th minute gave Equatorial Guinea the tying goal in the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals, and then an opening for an eventual 2-1 victory over Tunisia Saturday.
In front of delirious hometown fans, the match was without question the roughest of the 2015 tournament to date, with Tunisia seeing two of its players carried out of the field because of injuries and one from Equatorial Guinea. Tunisia ended up with four yellow cards, the most to date.
From the beginning to the end, the Nzalanga Lightning forced the Tunisians to play a defensive game. But Tunisia’s Ahmed Akaichi struck first in the 70th minute.
Victory looked to be the Carthage Eagles’ until the 91st minute when referee Rajindraparsad Seechurn awarded a penalty to Ali Maaloul, after being fouled by Ivan Bolado. Javier Balboa netted the goal for Equatorial Guinea.
Balboa then scored the winner for the Lightning in the 102nd minute with a 25-yard kick.
The final whistle then saw angry skirmishes as both sets of officials and players and security getting involved. Some Equatorial Guinea fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate, and some fans threw bottles at at the Tunisia players.
The BBC reported that some fans may have shown lasers in Tunisia goalkeeper Mathlouthi’s eyes during Balboa’s penalty kick.
Equatorial Guinea will face Ghana or Guinea in the first semifinal on Thursday.