Afcon Qualifiers: Aubameyang, Lemina celebrate Gabon’s qualification

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Gabon Afcon
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The Panthers are back on the continental stage after missing the finals in Egypt two years ago

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Fulham midfielder Mario Lemina have taken to social media to celebrate Gabon’s qualification for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

Patrice Neveu's men booked their spot in next year's tournament after hammering the Democratic Republic of Congo 3-0 at the Stade de Franceville on Thursday.

Hatayspor star Aaron Boupendza opened the scoring for the hosts just before half-time as Denis Bouanga's 72nd-minute effort and Aubameyang's late goal in the 86th minute completed the rout in Franceville.

After missing the 2019 Afcon in Egypt, the Panthers will be going to Cameroon to make their eighth appearance on the continental stage.

Although they are tied on 10 points after five matches, Gabon currently sit at the summit of Group D with a superior goal difference above the Gambia who are second.

DR Congo and Angola are already eliminated from qualification after picking up six points and a point, respectively, with one game left to play.

So far in the qualification series, Saint-Etienne's Bouanga stands as the Panthers' highest-scoring player with three goals while Aubameyang and Boupendza have scored two goals each.

Next up for Gabon, is a trip to Luanda for their final qualifying game against Angola on March 29.

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While the Afcon qualification might be a joy for Aubameyang, it might give Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta a headache over the 31-year-old’s availability because the tournament is scheduled to take place in the middle of the 2021-22 Premier League season – in January and February.

The same scenario applies to Fulham manager Scott Parker next season regarding Lemina’s availability.