JUBA – South Sudan recorded their first ever competitive win after beating Equatorial Guinea by a lone goal in their Group C Day Two clash in Juba on Saturday.
Striker Chol Peter Bentiu Daniel etched his name into South Sudanese football folklore with the only goal of the match on 51 minutes. It was the first win in a competitive outing for South Sudan since joining the ambit of international football in 2012.
Picking the maximum points at the expense of a side such as Equatorial Guinea, semi-finalists at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations is no mean a result for the landlocked north-eastern African country, who also scored for the first time in the qualifiers of the flagship football event.
Their previous result in the qualifiers included a 7-0 aggregate loss to Mozambique in 2014 and a 2-0 loss to Mali last June.
After a barren first half, Daniel netted the match winner few minutes after the break to secure victory at the expense of ‘Nzalang Nacional’ who paraded the likes Emilio Nsue of Middlesbrough fame, veteran Javier Balboa, who plays for Portuguese side, Estoril amongst others.
The hosts held on to claim a famous victory which the fans celebrated in grand style with party scenes in Juba, and surrounding towns turning into a festive mood.
They had to wait for 321 minutes to register their first ever goal in the qualifying campaign after their debut outing in 2014. The newest member of the global football family finally managed to break the deadlock in their fourth game in the qualifiers to open a new chapter in their football history.
Following the victory, South Sudan share top spot with Mali on three points apiece with Benin and Equatorial Guinea in that order with a point each. Benin hosts Mali in the other Group C match later on Sunday.
Their affiliation to CAF was ratified on 10 February 2012 before receiving the endorsement of world soccer governing body two months later.
Source: Confederation of African Football
The Upper Nile Times