As the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017 finals kicked off on Saturday, host country Gabon made a disappointing start after their opponents, Guinea-Bissau, pulled off a shocking equalizer in the 90th minute to end the first match of the tournament 1-1.
Despite having a world-class striker with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gabon displayed a lack of organization and a low level of performance much to the disappointment of a rather buoyant home crowd.
Aubameyang had a hard time accessing the ball due to the poor service of midfielder Mario Lemina who seemed to be playing at his worst.
The home side had taken the lead in the 52nd minute through Aubameyang, but a diving header by Juary Soares meant they had to share the spoils of a game that only livened up in the second half.
Although they lacked many spectacular scoring chances, the Wild Dogs maintained a fighting spirit, frustrating the host team throughout the game.
Gabon kept on firing shots in an attempt to double their lead, but that didn’t dampen Guinea-Bissau’s determination to get something out of the game.
Therefore, the visitors fought back tirelessly and imposed themselves on the game until the final whistle.
By the 80th minute, it appeared that Guinea-Bissau was going to leave the pitch with a brave defeat; however, Soares was able to connect impressively with a free-kick to rescue his side.
This is Guinea-Bissau’s first time participating in the African Cup of Nations finals.
Thousands of Gabonese fans who flocked to the Libreville Stadium to cheer the home team booed loudly at the final whistle, directing their disappointment at the team’s head coach, Jose Antonio Camacho, who appeared restless throughout the game.
After the match, Camacho said, “It’s very difficult to win the first match in these tournaments. For the next match we have to fight tooth and nail.”
Football analysts have urged the Gabonese national soccer team to improve its timing and rhythm if it wishes to make any headway in the tournament.
Other matches that were played over the weekend include Burkina Faso versus Cameroon (1-1), Algeria versus Zimbabwe (2-2), and Tunisia versus Senegal (0-2).
The AFCON 2017 tournament is set to end on February 5th.
Gabon vs Guinea-Bissau 1-1 All Goals… by hqfootball2016