Gabon recorded one of the best results in their history by beating tournament favourites and 4 times winners Cameroon 1-0 in the African Cup of Nations today.
Despite being on the back foot for the majority of the game the Gabonese managed to hang on to their one nil lead that came through a 17th minute strike from captain Daniel Cousin.
The result is the latest in a series of upsets with all the top teams in the first round of African Cup of Nations matches managing to lose or drop points so far.
Surprisingly Gabon chose to play in a more attacking style in the first half and this was reflected in chances for both sides.
The early efforts however belonged to Cameroon with Celtic’s Landry N’Guemo going close from a tight angle. Gabon goalkeeper, Didier Ovono Ebang proved to be in inspired form and in his first real test he did well to palm an Emana low shot onto the post in 8 minutes.
Despite the Lions pressure it was Gabon that took the lead. Poor defending from the Cameroon defenders resulted in a mis-hit clearance falling to Cousin near the penalty spot. The Hull City was composed enough to dummy the goalkeeper, Carlos Kameni and slot the ball low to the bottom left.
Gabon could have doubled their lead moments later but this time Cousin’s touch let him down and the chance was wasted.
The rest of the half was played out with mainly half chances for Cameroon but none were to come to fruition.
In the second half it was all Cameroon. However the midfield failed to create the sufficient chances for Samuel Eto who seemed strangely quiet and lethargic on his return from injury. When chances did fall the attacker’s way it was the goalkeeper Ebang who was to deny the equalizer.
A goal bound defensive deflection was one of many saves from Ebang and even when he made a rare fumble in the 70th minute his defence were on-hand to clear.
Cameroon’s chances mainly came from long range with the majority going wide. The Gabonese were resolute in defence but did ride their luck towards the end.
In the end they could have sealed the win with a late chance for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (a substitute for Ndoumbou) but he could only smash the ball against the crossbar.
The full time whistle came after 6 minutes of injury time and the Black Panthers celebrated what was only their second victory in African Cup of Nations history.
The result see’s Gabon go top o Group D for just now and sets them up nicely for remaining fixtures against Zambia and Tunisia.
Cameroon line up: Kameni, Song, Song Billong, Bedimo (76), N’Koulou, Geremi, Makoun, Emana, N’Guemo(46), Eto’o(captain), Webo(64)
(substitutes used Tchoyi,Idrissou and Enoh)
Gabon line up : Ovono, Ambourouet, Manga, Moundounga, Obane, Apanga, Mbanangoye (64), Moumbamba, Kessany, Ndoumbou (77), Cousin (captain)
(substitutes used Djissikadie and Pierre Aubameyang)