On Wednesday evening focus fell on Gabon’s capital Libreville, as an expectant crowd came out in force to watch the second round of Group A fixtures. The host nation Gabon were looking to record their first victory of the tournament against a tough Burkina Faso, while the mighty Cameroon faced off against Afcon debutants Guinea Bissau.
In the opening game of the evening, Gabon were forced to settle for 1-1 draw. The hosts fell behind after an abysmal attempt at defending from Obiang allowed Prejuce Nakoulma to capitalise. The defender failed to deal with a long clearance and allowed Nakoulma to power through on goal and poke his shot past a helpless Ovono. The Burkinabe began to assert their authority and looked comfortable until Gabon’s Merlin Tandjigora picked out his teammate Pierre Emerick Aubameyang with a stellar pass. The Borussia Dortmund speedster was headed towards goal before being brought down by a despairing Herve Koffi in the box. Aubameyang took the responsibility upon himself to slot the penalty home and level the match.
The goal gave Gabon confidence and they continued to look dangerous with eventual man of the match Denis Bouanga being their main danger man. As the match headed deeper into the second half, the Burkinabe’s gamesmanship became apparent. The West African nation looked content to see out the draw but Gabon almost punished them when the dangerous Bouanga found himself in space but his shot could not beat Koffi.
The second match of the night at the Stade de l`Amitie treated the crowd to an enthralling David versus Goliath encounter as Cameroon were made to sweat for victory against the underdogs. Guinea-Bissau surprised everyone by taking an early lead courtesy of a spectacular goal from Piqueti. The winger, who plys his trade with the reserve team of S.C. Braga in the Portuguese Second Division, carried the ball superbly from inside his own half before cutting into the box and firing a lethal shot beyond Ondoa. Cameroon looked shell shocked and this could explain Vincent Aboubakar’s shocking miss. The Besiktas striker found himself unmarked in the box but his shot trickled into the hands of the Guinea Bissau stopper.
The Indomitable Lions came back a rejuvenated side after the break. Cameroon’s coach, Hugo Broos, rang the changes taking off N’jie for Toko Ekambi. This move had fans shaking their heads in disbelief as N’jie looked to be Cameroon’s most promising player in the first half. However, it ended up being a tactical master stroke as Cameroon took control of the match. The equaliser soon followed through a Sebastien Siani wonder strike from outside the area. The pressure was now firmly on Guinea Bissau and they were struggling to contain the Cameroonian attack. With 22 minutes left on the clock Ngadeu-Ngadjui produced another stunning long range pile driver that not only zipped into the net but deflated Guinea Bissau’s hopes and proved to be the match winner as it ended 2-1.