Africa Cup of Nations - Group A
GabonGabon0CongoCongo1

Gabon 0-1 Congo

By Piers EdwardsBBC Sport
Congo beat Gabon 1-0 in Malabo
Congo registered their first win in their last 14 Africa Cup of Nations games

Congo won their first game at an Africa Cup of Nations finals since 1974, beating Gabon to move top of Group A.

The Gabonese enjoyed the better of the first half but fell behind after 48 minutes when Prince Oniangue stabbed the Red Devils in front from a corner.

Charlton Athletic's Frederic Bulot, who had a fine early volley saved, wasted Gabon's best chance, missing an open goal midway through the second half.

A draw against Burkina Faso on Sunday would take Congo to the quarter-finals.

Whoever wins between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in Bata on Sunday will also qualify for the last eight.

Gabon, who would have reached the quarter-finals with victory, dominated the early exchanges, playing with confidence after their 2-0 win over Burkina Faso on Saturday.

Just four minutes in, Bulot tested Congo goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi with a blistering volley from the edge of the box, after Malick Evouna teed him up at the end of a fine move.

Fifteen minutes later, Evouna was played in by the influential Levy Madinda and was unlucky to see his effort hit Maffoumbi before ricocheting off Congo defender Dimitri Bissiki and rolling inches wide.

All eyes may have been on Gabon's Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but as he struggled from a wide position, Madinda grabbed the limelight and the bustling midfielder almost gave the Panthers the lead.

Neatly flicking the ball over the head of one defender inside the box, he dragged wide just ahead of the break.

Congo beat Gabon 1-0 in Malabo
Gabon failed to score for the first time in their last seven Afcon games.

Congo were barely in the game but the half-time team talk delivered by veteran Frenchman Claude LeRoy, coaching at his eighth Nations Cup, galvanised a side contesting its first Nations Cup finals since 2000.

And when Gabon failed to clear a routine corner after the teams' return, Congo captain Oniangue lifted the ball into an unguarded corner of the net.

Then midfielder Oniangue thumped an 18-yard volley straight at a relieved Gabon goalkeeper Didier Ovono.

After Gabon's Madinda failed with two chances in a minute, Bulot was left with a moment that may come back to haunt him - firing wide from inside the box with the goal at his mercy.

No coach has overseen more Nations Cup matches than LeRoy, who led Cameroon to the title in 1988, and he added to that record after Madinda squandered yet another Gabon chance late on.

Congo coach Claude LeRoy:

"Our game plan worked well and we were lucky that Gabon did not convert their chances."

"Hats off to this Congo team for their morale and mental qualities. I've practically never had a team that works so well tactically, even if we are lacking in certain areas.

Gabon coach Jorge Costa:

"We had chances in the first half but didn't have the luck today that we had against Burkina Faso."

Congo coach Claude LeRoy
Claude LeRoy was taking charge of his 34th Nations Cup game.
Levy Madinda of Gabon
Levy Madinda was Gabon's biggest threat but missed several chances.

Line-ups

Gabon

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Ovono
  • 8Palun
  • 2Ondélé Appindangoyé
  • 5Ecuele Manga
  • 6Obiang
  • 17Biyogo PokoBooked at 74mins
  • 9Aubameyang
  • 11MadindaSubstituted forMbinguiat 84'minutes
  • 22NdongSubstituted forKangaat 56'minutes
  • 10BulotSubstituted forLengoualamaat 89'minutes
  • 7Evouna

Substitutes

  • 3Lengoualama
  • 12Kanga
  • 13Mbingui
  • 14Oto'o Zué
  • 15Ndong
  • 16Mfa Mezui
  • 18N'Doumbou
  • 19Ze Ondo
  • 20Sokambi
  • 21Rogombe
  • 23Bitseki Moto

Congo

Formation 4-5-1

  • 1Mafoumbi
  • 18Baudry
  • 21Babélé
  • 4MoubhiboBooked at 45mins
  • 6Bissiki
  • 10DoreSubstituted forMalongaat 75'minutes
  • 14GandzéSubstituted forOndamaat 74'minutes
  • 7Oniangué
  • 8N'Dinga
  • 5Bouka MoutouSubstituted forN'Gangaat 87'minutes
  • 13Bifouma Koulossa

Substitutes

  • 2N'Ganga
  • 3N'Ganga
  • 9M'boussy
  • 11Ondama
  • 12Litsingi
  • 15Douniama
  • 16Massa
  • 17Malonga
  • 19Malonga
  • 20Binguila
  • 22Ndzila
  • 23Mavoungou
Referee:
Victor Miguel de Freitas Gomes

Match Stats

Home TeamGabonAway TeamCongo
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home14
Away6
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away21

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Gabon 0, Congo 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Gabon 0, Congo 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Johann Diderot Lengoualama (Gabon).

  4. Post update

    Christoffer Mafoumbi (Congo) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Bruno Ecuele Manga (Gabon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Thievy Bifouma (Congo).

  7. Post update

    Hand ball by Guélor Kanga (Gabon).

  8. Post update

    Samson Mbingui (Gabon) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Delvin N'Dinga (Congo).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Gabon. Johann Diderot Lengoualama replaces Frédéric Bulot.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Samson Mbingui (Gabon) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andre Biyogo Poko.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Congo. Francis N'Ganga replaces Arnold Bouka Moutou.

  13. Post update

    Andre Biyogo Poko (Gabon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Thievy Bifouma (Congo).

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Guélor Kanga.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Gabon. Samson Mbingui replaces Lévy Madinda.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Gabon. Conceded by Dimitri Bissiki.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lévy Madinda (Gabon) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Guélor Kanga.

  19. Post update

    Malick Evouna (Gabon) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Boris Moubhibo (Congo).