After drawing their third group stage match in a row, tournament hosts Gabon have been eliminated from the competition. They become only the fourth host team in the tournament’s history to bow out in the group stage. Tunisia were the most recent in 1994.
It was clear to the Gabonese squad that this game against Cameroon was a must win, but they just could not seem to finish any of their chances with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Bouanga coming closest.
Aubameyang will be having nightmares about not converting on what was Gabon’s best chance. The Borussia Dortmund striker missed a tap-in that we would normally see him finish with ease. Bouanga hit the post just before full time leaving him and the rest of the squad to believe that it just wasn’t going to be their day in front of net.
Cameroon didn’t see many chances themselves but did enough defensively to secure themselves a point in order to move on to the knockout stage.
Burkina Faso were the big victors on the day. A 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau gave them a first place finish in Group A.
An early own goal from Guinea-Bissau defender Rudinilson Silva got the underdogs off to a terrible start.
Despite the own goal, Guinea-Bissau had plenty of chances to equalize. They had 55% possession throughout the game and had double the amount of shots that Burkina Faso recorded.
Missed chances came back to haunt the Guinea-Bissau squad when promising, young attacker Bertrand Traore took his chance in the 57th minute giving his side a 2-0 cushion. After a layoff from Prejuce Nakoulma, Traore opened up his body to calmly slot the ball past the goalkeeper with his preferred left foot.
After the curtains closed for Gabon and Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon and Burkina Faso will have the remainder of the week to prepare for Saturday’s matches. Burkina Faso await the second place team in Group B, which will be determined later today, while Cameroon already have the pleasure of knowing their opponent. They will face a dangerous Senegal side, who already secured first place in Group B.