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Gabon fluff lines in Africa Cup of Nations opener against Guinea Bissau

Gabon skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the first goal at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Gabon skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the first goal at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

It was going to plan. Just a few minutes remaining and the home crowd in Libreville chanting for their team that had been given the lead by the poster boy captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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But Gabon’s dream start to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday night went awry in the dying seconds. Juary Soares headed home Zezinho’s free-kick to make it 1-1.

Crowing turned to catcalls as the home supporters voiced their disappointment at the final whistle. But for the Guinea Bissau faithful, it was unalloyed joy as they won their first point at a finals.

Gabon coach José Antonio Camacho tried to put a brave face on the stalemate. “We had three points but we lost two of them,” said the Spaniard. “But even with a draw we still have the same chances to qualify as we would have had with a win.

“We knew it the game was going to be difficult. We have to go one match at a time and turn our attention to the next game against Burkina Faso. It will be an important game."

Before the action on the field, an opening ceremony before the Gabonese president Ali Bongo and his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Jose Mario Vaz, featured dancing as well as music from singers including the French rapper Booba.

 

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