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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Equatorial Guinea coach Becker first Nations Cup victim

AFP , Wednesday 14 Jun 2017
Esteban Becker
Equatorial Guinea's head coach Esteban Becker is pictured during the the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match against Senegal June 10, 2017 (AFP)
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Equatorial Guinea coach Esteban Becker has become the first casualty of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying after a 3-0 loss in Senegal at the weekend.

A national football federation spokesman in the small, oil-rich central African state confirmed Tuesday that the out-of-contract Argentine would not be offered a new one.

The 52-year-old made a sensational start as coach of the Equatoguineans, taking the 2015 Cup of Nations hosts to the semi-finals against all expectations.

Finishing fourth was particularly impressive as Becker got the job just a couple of weeks before the tournament having been in charge of the national women's team.

But the South American has been unable to replicate that success, with the Group A loss in Dakar the latest of many setbacks for the "Nzalang Nacional" (National Thunder).

Local coach Casto Nopo will fill in for Becker until a permanent replacement is named.

Equatorial Guinea, ranked 29 in Africa and 109 in the world, host Sudan next March during the second series of Cup of Nations qualifiers.

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