Congo put Gabon on sword

Congo jpGABON missed a chance to book their place in the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages as Group A winners, losing 1-0 to Congo on Wednesday.

Jorge Costa’s men beat 2013 finalists Burkina Faso 2-0 in their tournament opener and would have moved into an unassailable lead at the summit with another three points in Bata with a win in the second round of games.

However, Prince Oniangue capitalised on some questionable Gabon defending to score the winner three minutes after half-time.

Neither side was able to take control in a tight first half, but Frederic Bulot was unlucky not to break the deadlock with a spectacular strike after five minutes.

Oniangue’s goal gave Congo something to defend, although Gabon came agonisingly close to finding a leveller when Bulot saw a great chance hit the outside of the right-hand post.

The result sees Congo, who drew 1-1 with hosts Equatorial Guinea in the event’s curtain-raiser, go top of Group A ahead of the last round of fixtures of the opening phase.

Both sides made just one change from their opening matches, with Gabon bringing Aaron Ondele in for Yrondu Musavu-King at the back, while Francis N’Ganga made way for Dimitri Magnokele in the Congo XI.

Gabon continued to apply the pressure as the match approached a conclusion, but the Congo back line held firm to leave Claude Le Roy’s men a point clear at the summit heading into Sunday’s closing group fixture against Burkina Faso.


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