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AFCON 2021: Gabon Edge Past Comoros 1–0, Debutants Unlucky to Lose the Group C Encounter
- Comoros competed in their first African Cup of Nations encounter but showed no nerves or fear for Gabon
- Gabon won the encounter against Comoros thanks to a goal from Aaron Boupendza to top the Group
- Comoros were unlucky not to get more out of the game as they had huge spells of possession but lacked the killer instinct
Gabon headed to the top of Group C courtesy of a 1-0 win over AFCON debutants Comoros at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde. Gabon won the encounter thanks to a stunning strike by Aaron Boupendza.
Comoros were unlucky not to get more out of the game despite being 43 places behind their more fancied opponents.
Showing no nerves in their first AFCON encounter, Comoros dominated big chunks of the game but lacked that killer instinct as they failed to find that final cross or pass to unlock the Gabon defence.
Gabon struggled to get into the game but with just 15 minutes gone, they punished Comoros for the one defensive error that the islanders made. Gabon keeper Jean-Noel Amonome lofted the ball upfield where it was smartly controlled by Louis Autchanga.
Finding himself with space to run, Autchanga fed a perfectly timed ball to Boupendza who hammered it into the back of the net from a tight angle to give Gabon the lead.
Gabon had their chance to double their lead in the 59th minute when the Comoros keeper Ahamada Nadhoim came out to claim a cross but missed the ball. Gabon's captain Bruno Manga didn't expect the ball to come his way and sent his header wide.
In the 70th minute, Gabon's Denis Bouanga had the best chance to settle the game. Storming his way into the box, he evaded a few tackles before drawing a save from Ahamada Nadhoim.
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Comoros hit back immediately and won two corners in the space of two minutes as they forced the Gabon keeper Jean-Noel Amonome into action.
Gabon saw out the rest of the game to pick up the win but their win was almost overshadowed by a nasty knock for Lloyd Palun.
Palun took a nasty blow to the head in the 92nd minute when he blocked a Comoros freekick on the edge of the box.Palun immediately fell to the ground and a stretcher had to be brought onto the field. After a nervy few minutes, the player was able to get to his feet with the help of the medical team but he went straight off.
AFCON 2021: Mane strikes late, late penalty as Senegal steals win against Zimbabwe
Meanwhile in another African Cup of Nations encounter, favourites Senegal had to toil for their 1-0 win against Zimbabwe in the opening match of group B at the 2021 African Cup of Nations, Sports Brief reported.
AFCON 2021: Mane strikes late, late penalty as Senegal steals win against ZimbabweFootball
Sadio Mane lashed in a penalty with the last kick of the game that took place at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam. The Warriors' Kelvin Madzongue handled the ball while diving in to block a shot with just seconds of added to go, leaving referee Mario Escobar with no choice but to point to the spot after a VAR consultation.
The Lions of Teranga were expected to comfortably dispatch Zimbabwe in line with both teams' FIFA ranking, Senegal being ranked number one on the continent, while Zimbabwe sits at number 25.