Monday January 23, 2012 Group Stage: Group C Finished Stade de l'Amitié

Gabon 2 - 0 Niger

  • Aubameyang 30’
  • N'Guema 45’

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  1. African Cup of Nations - Hosts Gabon start with win

    African Cup of Nations - Hosts Gabon start with win

    African Cup of Nations co-hosts Gabon got off to a flier with a 2-0 Group C victory over Niger in Libreville. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Gabon
    • Niger
    • - Thanks for joining me for that - Morocco-Tunisia is up in around an hour, join me (Reda Maher) for that later! FOLLOW ON TWITTER!
    • 90+3 The final whistle goes - a good solid win for Gabon but it could have been a thrashing! Good way to open the African Cup of Nations for the hosts. Up next - Tunisia v Morocco, which should be less one-sided.
    • 90+2 Cousin with a dipping shot but well over in the end.
    • 90+1 GABON SUB: Poko comes off for Palun, who has a similar haircut to both Polo and Aubameyang, known in the trade as a 'Neymar'.
    • 90' Three minutes added on.
    • 89' The replay confirms that Mohamed shoved Mouloungui. Should have been a penalty - Gabon denied four obvious ones so far.
    • 88' ALMOST A THIRD! Mouloungui almost connects with Cousin's lovely cross from the left but Mohamed did enough to put him off (looked another penalty to me, by the way).
    • 87' 'Ole' rings out as the boys in yellow mimic their Brazilian pals with some slick passing.
    • 86' Mohamed with a flying rash challenge on Cousin and how is that not a penalty?!
    • 85' Gabon are sitting a lot further up the pitch now, confident of holding on to the win at the very worst and looking for a third - goal difference and head-to-heads may come into play as Tunisia and Morocco should beat Niger easily and could cancel each other out.
    • 84' Cousin immediately gets on to the ball but it's hacked clear from the Niger box.
    • 83' That's Aubameyang's last act of the match as Daniel Cousin comes on to great applause.
    • 82' Aubameyang on the ball 40 yards out, he uses his pace to work a chance from the edge of the box but his driven shot bounces wide of the left-hand corner!
    • 81' Gabon just stroking it about casually now, mostly on halfway. There's going to be a party in Libreville tonight, it's already started and Morocco and Tunisia will be playing in great atmosphere.
    • 80' Mexican waves abound from the home crowd now - and no vuvuzelas, or not enough to give me earache anyway.
    • 79' That was a glimpse of his ability, slightly too far out and not enough pace on the cross for Maazou to get power on it.
    • 78' Long ball from Boubacar which Maazou meets with a fine header but batted away by Ovono!
    • 77' Amadou Kalala's match is over now. No more subs so Niger down to 10 men.
    • 76' Scrappy now though with Niger just bumbling through the latter stages of this match, which Gabon don't mind so long as they don't get too many kicks.
    • 75' Niger survive that free-kick from wide and lump it upfield. Gabon very comfortable now.
    • 74' GABON SUB: Before the corner goal-scorer N'Guema comes off for Mbanangoye. He plays in Belarus for Dinamo Minsk.
    • 73' That set-piece is cleared but it pops up for Poko on the right - but his cross is well blocked by a Mohamed tackle.
    • 72' Free-kick to Gabon on the right after a poor tackle from Mohamed.
    • 71' Having used all their subs Amadou, who only just came on, is carried off by his team-mates as he breaks down again.
    • 70' Jimmy with a good interception but he misplaces the pass to touch.
    • 69' Amadou is on the deck still getting the magic spray on his ankle.
    • 68' Late challenge from N'Guema on Amadou, completely unnecessary and he is booked.
    • 66' A bit of a lull now as Niger ran out of what few ideas they had and Gabon sit back and soak up the 'pressure'.
    • 65' Wonderful low cross in by N'Guema but Aubameyang is denied by Dodo sliding in! The flag is up though, but that looked on.
    • 64' Good turn by N'Geuma on the left to get into the box but he overruns it with a poor second touch.
    • 63' NIGER SUB: Boubacar is off for Amadou.
    • 62' Aubameyang on the run, super turn of pace to get wide, Mohamed slides in but he rides it and keeps it in but the linesman gets it wrong and says it went out!
    • 61' Jimmy flattens N'Guema, right through the back of him as they challenged for a header.
    • 60' Issoufou curls it in but too heavy and beyond the far post. Goal kick Gabon.
    • 59' A breather - and a corner - for Niger. The only time they threatened in the first half...
    • 58' Poor back-header from Dodo falls short of the box and Kassaly rushes out to kick clear. Niger all over the shop.
    • 57' NIGER SUB: Jimmy Bulus, known simply as "Jimmy", comes on for Mazadou.
    • 56' Gabon surge forward once more as N'Guema is caught offside. Niger preparing a sub...
    • 55' Mohamed now has to go off for treatment, looks like a head injury.
    • 54' The flag is up against Aubameyang as Gabon carved Niger open once more.
    • 53' Dodo is down injured now, his ankle getting treated...
    • 52' Shocking mix-up in the Niger defence as Mohamed and Dodo both miss the ball AND MOULOUNGUI IS CLEAN THROUGH but Kassaly flies out to block his finish! Great stop!
    • 51' Mouloungui's cross is blocked by Mohamed, but the loose ball drops for N'Guema and Mohamed slides in aggressively but gets the ball! Risky but it came off!
    • 51' Niger go long for Maazou again but Manga - who is a strong, pacy defender at Lorient - does well to hold him off.
    • 50' Mohamed wins a free-kick on halfway but his team-mates give it away - the pass is too far ahead of Aubameyang though.
    • 49' Gabon come forward but Madinda gets the shot all wrong, blasting it well over. Poor defending from Mohamed in the build-up to let Aubameyang in.
    • 48' Poor header by Mohamed again but he gets across to clear well enough.
    • 47' Niger starting brightly but Poko clears for the hosts.
    • 46' Second half underway - no additional changes as far as I can see.
    • - Let me know what you think of this match on Twitter @Reda_Maher. Gabon impressive in my view, very direct and Aubayemang a real threat. FOLLOW HERE!
    • 45+2 The two minutes of added time are up and Gabon deservedly lead 2-0 through goals from Aubameyang and N'Guema!
    • 45+1 That chance came from a super cross by Moussono after a cracking tackle from Mouloungui.
    • 45' GOAL GABON! It's 2-0 and N'Guema finishes from close range after a fantastic reflex save from Kassali denied Aubameyang a point-blank header!
    • 44' Another Boubacar corner but headed clear and kicked upfield by Gabon. Mohamed puts it back in, flicked on for Maazou but Ovono gathers.
    • 44' NIGER SUB: No surprises here - Alhassane comes off for Yacouba.
    • 43' A half-chance from the corner as a scramble ensues but Gabon manage to clear - super pace from Aubameyang but he can't take it inside from the left.
    • 42' He puts it near post but headed behind by Mouele - who almost got a boot in the face.
    • 41' Maazou does well to win a corner as he starts to get into this game a touch more. Issoufou to take....
    • 40' Wasted free-kick, too long for even Aubameyang to keep it in. Goal kick Niger, who are warming up a sub already...
    • 39' Kassali claims a long ball down the middle. He then punts it long himself, and Gabon win a free-kick on halfway.
    • 38' Alhassane again is late in the tackle but the lenient ref again declines to card him.
    • 37' Better from Niger, who are keeping the ball well enough now as Mouele fouls Boubacar Issoufou.
    • 36' Maazou gives chase to a long ball but can't keep it in. A good tackle and pass from Laouali started that.
    • 35' Maazou with a rare touch but he gives it away, his second was heavy. He shows good agility to keep it in though and Niger build again.
    • 34' Moussono on the left but but a poor cross from him and a goal kick to the Nigeriens.
    • 33' Ebanega fires a long one for Aubameyang but he can't get the cross in.
    • 32' Mouele hits a low cross that surely strikes Mohamed on the arm but no penalty!
    • 31' Well having said Kassali had improved since his earlier mess, he shows once more that he is woeful on crosses or indeed any high ball. Aubameyang nets his sixth goal for his country.
    • 30' GOAL GABON! Good cross from N'Guema on the right, it hangs for a while AND KASSALI MISSES IT AND AUBAMEYANG SCORES! Just loitering at the far post, the St Etienne striker squeezes in the header!
    • 29' N'Guema curls in a low free-kick, which Kassali gathers well. His early three blips aside (which we can put down to nerves), he's been decent since.
    • 28' Well that was a red-card challenge in itself - and given how lenient the ref was with him for a similar challenge earlier (though admittedly without contact), he is very lucky to be on the pitch. Moussono lives though.
    • 27' First booking of the game goes to for a two-footed tackle on Moussono! Alhassane once more, who was responsible for the last one and was lucky not to get a card for a similar early challenge.
    • 26' As it's a head injury play is stopped - he's okay though, an ice-pack set to do the trick.
    • 25' Another injury, Moussono taking a smack on the head, from Alhassane who is treading a tightrope.
    • 24' Moussouno slips in the corner and Niger now have a throw. They give it straight back to Gabon though.
    • 23' Madinda on the ball, he turns into space, finding Aubameyang but he is tackled. Throw to Gabon.
    • 22' The magic water does the trick for Kassali, who has bought his under-pressure side a breather.
    • 21' Kassali is injured after that save. Could be a delay here.
    • 20' Mohamed again shaky to let N'Guema in but Kassali, gaining in confidence from his save, rushes out to claim bravely at feet.
    • 19' Well after looking terrible until now, Kassali makes a great reflex stop - somewhat stereotypically for an African keeper. Aubameyang should have scored!
    • 18' Gabon come forward again, good ball by Mouele, all kinds of trouble as it flicks off Mohamed and drops to AUBAMYENAG MUST SCORE but a super rush-and-save from the keeper Kassali!
    • 17' Gabon all over Niger now but Aubameyang just fails to get the shot in and scrambled away!
    • 16' Mouele is annoyed after a poor ball down the right leaves him short.
    • 15' Maazou again wastes a decent chance to put it in from the right. Admittedly he's all they've got, but needs to move more central.
    • 14' Played up quickly by Ovono but cleared by Niger. Then a poor back-header from Mohamed but straight to Kassali, who holds on to it this time. That seemed to hit his arm too!
    • 13' Maazou finally gets a touch, picking it up on the right and drilling in a low shot from an angle but an easy save for Ovono.
    • 12' Two-footed tackle by Alhassane but he escapes a card somehow.
    • 11' The corner is half-cleared and a long shot is charged down - Malinda on the left tries to cross but gets it all wrong, out for a goal kick.
    • 10' Free-kick to Gabon on their left now, most of their joy has come from the other flank... Swung in by Aubameyang but headed out for a corner by Gabon skipper Laouali.
    • 9' Long throw from Mouele causes problems, shocking clearance from Soumailia and Moubamba shoots but skews it well wide.
    • 8' Mazadou again gets ahead of N'Guema and puts it out for a throw.
    • 7' A half-hearted Niger attack breaks down and Gabon come forward again, slowly building from the back..
    • 6' Gabon come forward with N'Guema on the right but, as Mazadou comes across he shanks the cross wide.
    • 5' A corner now and another dreadful fumble by the Niger keeper, it slips through his arms for another corner. He tries and fails to punch the next one but the follow-up flies out for a goal kick.
    • 4' Terrible punch by Niger keeper Kassali, should have caught it and Mouloungui flies in to shoot but blocked by Laouali!
    • 3' Gabon clear as Manga drifts it wide to Moubamba, he cuts inside but a superb slide tackle by Mohamed on the edge of the box!
    • 2' Issoufou on the right for Niger winning a throw off the diminutive Mouele.
    • 1' The first half is underway!
    • 15:55 The teams are out and, as you'd expect, this stadium is rammed with Gabon fans in yellow, dominating the arena.
    • 15:50 So for Gabon, Mouloungui partners Aubemayang up front, with Do Marcolino also on the bench with Cousin. Niger, meanwhile, are spearheaded by Zulte Waregem forward Ouwou Moussa Maazou, profilic in Belgium but less so in Russia and France. More on Maawou here.
    • 15:45 Referee: Eddy Maillet (Seychelles)
    • 15:40 TEAMS - Gabon: Ebang, Mouele, Ecuele Manga, Ebanega, Moussono, Madinda, Moubamba, Biyogo Poko, Mouloungui, N'Guema, Aubameyang; Subs: Bidonga, Ambourouet, Boussoughou, Palun, Cousin, Ndong, Mbanangoye, Apanga, Moundounga, Do Marcolino, Meye, Bitseki Moto /// Niger: Daouda, Kader Amadou, Mohamed, Soumaila, Lancina, Mazadou, Issoufou, Laouali, Issoufou, Talatou, Moussa Maazou; Subs: Saminou, Bulus, Idrissa, Bonnes, Kamilou, Moussa, N'Gounou, Dan Kowa, Koudize, Moutari Amadou, Seydou Ali, Doumbia
    • 15:35 By the way, I am Reda Maher, and this is my first game of the finals. I must say I was surprised at how Senegal flopped in their first match. I backed them but maybe Tunisia and Morocco should be the faves, given their relative organisation. Hard to say if a Niger win would be an upset. Have your say on Twitter @Reda_Maher. FOLLOW HERE!
    • 15:30 For a bit more on Gabon and Niger (and the rest of Group C, which includes North African giants Tunisia and Morocco), click on our full profile. GROUP C DETAILS.
    • 15:25 We talked about Aubameyang, who plays for St Etienne (in France, where he was born), who he joined from Milan (where he was raised and his father Pierre snr works as a scout). As a result he has triple-nationality, opting for Gabon after turning out for France's U21s. The 22-year-old has also played for Dijon, Lille and Monaco on-loan from Milan.
    • 15:20 FACT: This stadium, the Stade d'Angondje, was purpose-built for these finals.
    • 15:15 Some team news: Daniel Cousin starts on the bench for Gabon. Having spent most of his career in France and Britain, the veteran ex-Hull and Rangers striker now plays in his homeland for Sogea FC. Not hugely surprising with exciting youngster Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and France-based duo Eric Mouloungui and Fabrice Do Marcolino in the squad.
    • - Hello and welcome to our LIVE coverage as African Cup of Nations co-hosts Gabon face surprise qualifiers Niger in their Group C opener. Kick off at 4pm UK time!
  • Summary

    • 88' ALMOST A THIRD! Mouloungui almost connects with Cousin's lovely cross from the left but Mohamed did enough to put him off (looked another penalty to me, by the way).
    • 86' Mohamed with a flying rash challenge on Cousin and how is that not a penalty?!
    • 82' Aubameyang on the ball 40 yards out, he uses his pace to work a chance from the edge of the box but his driven shot bounces wide of the left-hand corner!
    • 78' Long ball from Boubacar which Maazou meets with a fine header but batted away by Ovono!
    • 65' Wonderful low cross in by N'Guema but Aubameyang is denied by Dodo sliding in! The flag is up though, but that looked on.
    • 58' Poor back-header from Dodo falls short of the box and Kassaly rushes out to kick clear. Niger all over the shop.
    • 52' Shocking mix-up in the Niger defence as Mohamed and Dodo both miss the ball AND MOULOUNGUI IS CLEAN THROUGH but Kassaly flies out to block his finish! Great stop!
    • 51' Mouloungui's cross is blocked by Mohamed, but the loose ball drops for N'Guema and Mohamed slides in aggressively but gets the ball! Risky but it came off!
    • 45' GOAL GABON! It's 2-0 and N'Guema finishes from close range after a fantastic reflex save from Kassali denied Aubameyang a point-blank header!
    • 43' A half-chance from the corner as a scramble ensues but Gabon manage to clear - super pace from Aubameyang but he can't take it inside from the left.
    • 32' Mouele hits a low cross that surely strikes Mohamed on the arm but no penalty!
    • 30' GOAL GABON! Good cross from N'Guema on the right, it hangs for a while AND KASSALI MISSES IT AND AUBAMEYANG SCORES! Just loitering at the far post, the St Etienne striker squeezes in the header!
    • 18' Gabon come forward again, good ball by Mouele, all kinds of trouble as it flicks off Mohamed and drops to AUBAMYENAG MUST SCORE but a super rush-and-save from the keeper Kassali!
    • 14' Played up quickly by Ovono but cleared by Niger. Then a poor back-header from Mohamed but straight to Kassali, who holds on to it this time. That seemed to hit his arm too!
    • 4' Terrible punch by Niger keeper Kassali, should have caught it and Mouloungui flies in to shoot but blocked by Laouali!
    • 3' Gabon clear as Manga drifts it wide to Moubamba, he cuts inside but a superb slide tackle by Mohamed on the edge of the box!
    • 15:40 TEAMS - Gabon: Ebang, Mouele, Ecuele Manga, Ebanega, Moussono, Madinda, Moubamba, Biyogo Poko, Mouloungui, N'Guema, Aubameyang; Subs: Bidonga, Ambourouet, Boussoughou, Palun, Cousin, Ndong, Mbanangoye, Apanga, Moundounga, Do Marcolino, Meye, Bitseki Moto /// Niger: Daouda, Kader Amadou, Mohamed, Soumaila, Lancina, Mazadou, Issoufou, Laouali, Issoufou, Talatou, Moussa Maazou; Subs: Saminou, Bulus, Idrissa, Bonnes, Kamilou, Moussa, N'Gounou, Dan Kowa, Koudize, Moutari Amadou, Seydou Ali, Doumbia

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Gabon

    Manager: Gernot Rohr

  • Niger

    Manager: Harouna Doulla

  • Line-up

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      Goal Substitution Out84′ - -
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