AFCON 2015: Burkina Faso Lose to Gabon

By Oliver Ngwenya    18-Jan-2015 12:23 UTC+02:00
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrating his goal in Equatorial Guinea. Image: BBC/Getty Images.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon celebrating his goal in a match against Burkina Faso in Equatorial Guinea.
Image: BBC/Getty Images.

Gabon beat Burkina Faso by two goals to nil in the second match of the 2015 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which was played at Bata Stadium in Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

Gabon have their goalkeeper, Didier Ovono to thank for the great result of their opening encounter. He came up with several point blank saves to deny the fancied team a win and, in some moments, he single-handedly helped his team claw their way back into a game that was not an easy one to win. If the Gabonese team relied on Ovono at the back, Borussia Dortmund striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malick Evouna did not disappoint upfront to ensure that the Jorge Costa coached side collected maximum points to come out leaders of Group A after only one match each.

It was not all rosy as the Gabonese started the match under immense pressure with the Burkina Faso team attacking relentlessly at the beginning of the match. Ovono had to be called in to make a brilliant save as early as the twelfth minute, preventing Bertrand Traore from providing his nation with an opening goal. He was almost caught napping in the nineteenth minute after he raced out of goal but his sometimes awake defence came to his rescue and cleared the attempt at goal from the line. Andre Biyogo Poko provided the killer pass that resulted in the first goal of the match and the third of the tournament. His pass set Aubameyang on a one on one course with goalkeeper for Burkina Faso and even though his first attempt was blocked, he was cool enough to take a second bite of the cherry and place the rebound out of reach of the string of defenders that had lined up the Burkina Faso goal line. Even though the Gabonese grew in confidence and were quite likely to score a second goal, they had lapses in defence which, in some instances almost resulted in a goal. On the half hour mark, Burkinabe, Jonathan Pitroipa had a clear chance to provide the leveler for his team but he fluffed the effort and Ovono was only too happy to take the ball away from him.

After the frantic pace of the first half, the tempo slowed down somewhat in the second half, swinging from one end to the other. At one of these instances, the swing did not return as Gabonese midfielder, Frederic Bulot turned his marker inside out and launched a searching cross into the area and this was met emphatically with a magnificent header by striker, Evouna to put the score beyond the reach of the Burkinabes. Never one to give up easily, Jonathan Pitroipa made a frantic effort to pull one back but his effort was stopped short by Ovono.

Meanwhile, in the opening match of the tournament, which was also played at Bata Stadium, Congo Brazaville managed to upstage the hosts, Equatorial Guinea, and hold them to a one all draw.

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