Republic of Congo snatched a late 1-1 draw against host Equatorial Guinea in the opening game of the African Cup of Nations, muting a packed stadium of red-shirted home fans who thought they were on their way to a surprise win.

Equatorial Guinea captain Emilio Nsue scored in the 16th minute to kick off the celebrations at Bata Stadium after the crowd had already been treated to a performance by American singer Akon during the opening ceremony.

But Thievy Bifouma equalised with three minutes to go, sliding a low shot in from a tough angle to spoil the host's opening night.

Worries over attendances at this African Cup were temporarily pushed aside as the supporters crowded in. Equatorial Guinea stepped in to stage the tournament at the last minute in place of Morocco.

Source: AP