Gabon maintains a perfect record with victory over Tunisia

Feb 01, 2012
  • Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng celebrates after his goal that ensured his team won all their three group matches in the Cup of Nations for the first time.

Co-host Gabon overcame Tunisia 1-0 in an entertaining match to finish top of Group C in the Orange Africa Cup of Nations.

The match played in Franceville was fast and lively straight from kick-off. The defeat leaves Tunisia in second place and this means the Carthage Eagles will stay in Franceville to play the winners of Group D.

Gabon heads back to the capital Libreville where their quarter final opponents will be runners up in Group D Franceville stadium saw its biggest crowd and with almost all of them cheering on the home side the atmosphere was brilliant and the football did not disappoint.

Tunisia who made eight changes to their squad had the first crack at goal when Jamel Saihi cut in from the right flank skipping past two tackles before shooting straight at Didier Ebang Ovono.

There were two more shots that found the side netting of Ovono’s goal during a lively start from Tunisia. After weathering the early onslaught Gabon who made four changes from the side that beat Morocco started stringing some passes together from midfield with Lloyd Palun, Zita Bruno Mbanangoye and Charly Moussono bossing the exchanges.

The pulsating first half ended goalless and after resumption the pace and intensity remained high much to the delight of the appreciative crowd.

The country’s favourite Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng set the stadium alight with a 62nd minute strike that went in off goalkeeper Rami Jeridi.

Another local favourite Daniel Cousin provided the through pass and Aubameyang sent the nation wild. With the volume in the ground raised up Gabon pressed more for a second goal and Cousin could have got it but he blazed the rebound from a few meters out after Jeridi had spilt a shot.

Tunisian coach Trabelsi made some changes and this seemed to shift the dominance in Tunisia’s favour. Gabon ‘s Ovono was the busier of the two keepers in the dying minutes of the game as Tunisia went in search of an equalizer. Tunisia made a match of it pilling some pressure on Gabon and the crowd was on the edge of their seats willing the referee to blow the final whistle.

Bilel Ifa could have leveled for Tunisia but he shot straight at the goalkeeper during Tunisia dominance while Gabon were just hanging on and hang on for a win they did and collected maximum points from three group matches for the first time at Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Morocco bowed out of the Cup of Nations on a high note after beating Niger 1-0 in their Group C encounter in Libreville.

 

Compiled from Caf