Gabon opens campaign with a convincing win
Co-hosts Gabon beat debutants Niger 2-0 in Libreville during day three of the 28th edition of Orange Africa Cup of Nations. Goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Stephane Nguema gave the Panthers the perfect start they were looking for and the result left both competition co-hosts with opening wins.Gabon were cheered on by a partisan home crowd that included the President Ali Bongo had a bright start and had the Mena of Niger hardly getting out of their own half at the beginning of the match. Early pressure by Gabon brought two quick corner kicks as Niger defence worked over time. A sliced attempted clearance in the Mena defence allowed Cedric Moubamba a chance to shot at goal from close range but the striker fluffed his shot leaving Daouda Kassaly in goal for Niger untroubled. The signs were ominous though for Mena. Niger weathered the early onslaught and had a first sight of goal when Mousa Maazou was on target with a shot that the Gabonese goalkeeper saved from a tight angle on the edge of the box, a shot. Gabon gave a start to Remy Ebanega, a member of Gabon s victorious U-23 Olympic squad at center back and was joined by another Olympic member, Andre Biyogo. Aubameyang s then went close with a free-kick away as he Mousa Moubamba and Levy Madinda grew in confidence and tested the opponents with one attack after another . Gabonese eventually paid off when in the 30th minute Pierre –Emerick Aubameyang got onto the end of a Stephane Nguema cross to open the scoring for the home side with a header and sent the packed stadium into raptures.Nguema then doubled the Gabonese lead on the stroke of half time. The Mena stopped further goals in the second half but did not really threaten to spoil the hosts party and the Panther were able to stroll home in the closing stages of the game. Niger was down to ten men after Amadou was forced off injured with coach Harouna Doula having already made all his three substitutions.Daniel Cousin was left on the bench for Gabon but he made an impressive start upon coming on and his cross almost set up Mouloungui for the third goal of the game.Gabonese coach Gernot Rohr made changes pulling out scorer Nguema who had just picked up an unnecessary yellow card and brought on Andre Biyogo, another of the U-23 Olympic team star. Niger captain Idrissa Laouli tried hard to encourage the players and they fought hard but Gabon was hard to live with on the day and the Mena seemed to accept it and went for damage limitation. Niger coach Harouna Doula made changes to strengthen his side s defences and the second half ended with Gabon unable to add on the score. Niger keeper Daouda came to his side rescue on several occasions.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
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