Aubameyang's Gabon lose top spot as Cameroon extend Group F lead

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon
The Panthers slid down to second spot after defeat in Gambia while the Indomitable Lions continued their good form under coach Toni Conceicao

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started and witnessed Gabon lose top spot in Group D following a 2-1 defeat by Gambia in a 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Independence Stadium on Sunday.

Modou Barrow struck four minutes into the second half before Bologna forward Musa Barrow doubled the hosts’ advantage in the 79th minute to avenge a 2-1 defeat suffered last Thursday in Gabon.

Dijon defender Bruno Ecuele Manga pulled a goal back for Gabon a minute before full-time.

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Monday’s result saw Gambia claim top spot in Group D after four rounds of matches in the campaign, while Gabon dropped to second place.

Gabon had captain Aubameyang starting but the Arsenal man could not replicate the form that saw him score the second goal in Franceville on Thursday.

The Panthers could feel hard done by their hosts whom they feel played psychological games by holding them “hostage” at the airport prior to the match.

Angola and DR Congo play in another Group D match on Tuesday but whatever the result will not affect the top two teams.

Elsewhere in Maputo, Vincent Aboubakar continued with his good form for Cameroon when he opened the scoreline in the 2-0 win over Mozambique.

After grabbing a brace in Thursday’s 4-1 win in Douala, Aboubakar followed that up with a 26th-minute goal at Estadio do Zimpeto.

Royal Excel Mouscron forward Serge Tabekou scored Cameroon’s other goal with Nicolas Ngamaleu providing the assist for both goals, having also contributed in the reverse fixture.

Mozambique striker Reginaldo missed a first-half penalty in what was an opportunity to help his side take the lead.

Despite 2022 Afcon hosts Cameroon participating in these qualifiers to gain game-time, they are now six points clear at the top of Group F, ahead of Monday's opponents, following three wins and a draw.

Cape Verde are placed third in this group while Rwanda anchor the standings and the two sides play each other on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in Francistown, Zambia dropped to the bottom of Group H when they lost 1-0 to Botswana.

It was a setback for Chipolopolo who had edged Botswana 2-1 in Lusaka last Thursday.

Mosha Gaolaolwe scored as early as six minutes into the match in favour of the Zebras who returned to the third position in Group H which is led by Algeria, who drew 2-2 with Zimbabwe in Harare.