Gabon beat Angola to go top of Group D


Aaron Boupendza and Dennis Bouanga’s first half goals were all Gabon needed to beat Angola 2-1 and move top of Group D in the qualifiers for the 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Sunday night..

Angola scored their consolation five minutes from time through Adriano Duarte Nicolau, but couldn’t come off with any point leaving their campaign to qualify for Cameroon in jeopardy after also losing their opening game to Gambia.

Gabon who missed out on the 2019 Cup of Nations are on four points from two matches having drawn 0-0 with DR Congo in the opening round of matches last week away in Kinshasa.

Boupendza broke the deadlock for the home side in the 26th minute when he towered above everyone inside the box to head home from a freekick. The goal came just three minutes after Gabonese defender Bruno Manga had cleared Mateano Galius Da Costa’s effort off the line.

Angola had intercepted a short back-pass to the keeper and the ball squared to the skipper at the edge of the six yard box, but he watched in shock as his goal-bound effort was cleared off the line.

Before scoring, Gabon had chances. Guelor Kanga Kaku had an 18th minute effort from distance turned behind for a corner by the keeper while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was a tightly marked man had an effort blocked minutes later.

Angola had a period of dominance despite going down as they raided the Gabon half looking for the equalizer. Bartolomeu Quissanga had a shot fly over in the 35th minute before Alfredo Kulembe forced the Gabon keeper to a brilliant save with a low shot from the edge of the box.

They had a golden opportunity in the 42nd minute when a cross from the left was missed by the keeper but Paulo Bartolomeu who was arriving inside the box headed wide with a gaping goalmouth.

Against the run of play, Angola was punished for all the missed chances. Bouanga simply tapped the ball home after Angolan keeper Joaqim Bango failed to hold on to an Aubameyang cross from the right.

It was a full contest in the second half, Gabon tightening their defense while Angola searched for the goals. The home side came close to adding their tally with Bouanga having a freekick tipped over for a corner while Aubameyang had a shot from inside the area saved.

Angola kept searching and were rewarded in the 85th minute, Duarte heading home from Antonio Felix’s cross.