Malabo

Malabo Harbor (flickr/podknox)

 

Equatorial Guinea, one of the smallest African countries but surely the fastest in women's soccer ascendancy, fought Norway today, a traditional powerhouse fallen on less stellar times in a Group D encounter.

Norway escaped with a surprisingly close 1-0 win in its opening game at the Women's World Cup, yet Equatorial Guinea has been rising fast in the FIFA standings and its play showed why.

Anchored by goalie Miriam and central defender Carolina, Equatorial Guinea showed off fine positioning and skills. Anonman added power and speed up front.

Equatorial Guinea was hurt right before the start of the championship when striker Jade Boho was suspended over Spanish citizenship issues.

The Nzalang Nacionals gained their first ever entry into the Women's World Cup beating South Africa, 3-1 in the semi-finals of the 2010 Women's African Championships. They lost to Nigeria 4-2 in the finals but their gutsy performance earned them many kudos.

With the World Cup under way a lot of people are asking, where is Equatorial Guinea?

Officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, it is a country located in Middle Africa. It comprises two parts: a Continental Region (Río Muni), including several small offshore islands like Corisco, Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico, and an insular region containing Annobón island and Bioko island (formerly Fernando Po) where the capital Malabo is situated.

With an area of 28,000 square kilometers (11,000 sq mi) Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa. Due to large petroleum reserves, it is also the richest per capita. However, the wealth is distributed very unevenly, with 70% of the population living under the United Nations Poverty Threshold of $2/day. With a population of 650,702, Equatorial Guinea is also the third smallest country by population in continental Africa.

Here's a look at these fierce soccer-player's home country:

Big

Big Pico (flickr/john & Mel Kots)
Beautiful

Beautiful Harbor (john & Mel Kots)
Malabo

Malabo (john & Mel Kots)
Malabo

Malabo Sunset (flickr/john & Mel Kots)
The

The Jungle (flickr/john & Mel Kots)
Bioko

Bioko Island (flickr/john & Mel Kots)