Hosts Gabon on the brink of exit after draw with Burkina

    By Prince Dulzy

    Hosts Gabon’s qualification to the next round of the 2017 African Cup of Nations is in serious doubt after 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso on Wednesday in their second Group A match in Libreville.

    Burkina Faso opened the scoring after 23 minutes through Prejuce Nakoulma who had replaced injured Jonathan Pitroipa. The Burkina leading striker suffered from what looked like a serious knee injury and had to leave the pitch and ten minutes later substitute Nakoulma ran from the edge of his own penalty area on to a defensive clearance and got the better of full back Johan Obiang before gliding the ball into the net.

    Read more : Team Profile Gabon

    But Burkina’s lead that lasted for only 15 minutes when Aubameyang equalised for Gabon through a penalty. Goalkeeper Herve Koffi gave away penalty by chopping down Aubameyang and he made no mistake from the 12 yards.

    After goals from both teams, it seemed nothing was at stake for them as they continued with their boring displays until the last 10 minutes when Denis Bouanga had a close-range effort well saved by Koffi and Serge Kevyn missed with a header.

    The absence of injured defender Mario Lemina and the loss of defender Johann Obiang to injury in the first half took a toll on Gabon. Burkina Faso also was affected by the early departure of leading attacker Pitroipa who was named player of the tournament in the 2013 African Cup of Nations. It is likely they might be without him in the final group game.

    Read more: Team Profile Burkina Faso

    “Pressure and I are like husband and wife,” Gabon coach Jose Antonio Camacho once said.

    With only two points from two matches, it looks as though the marriage is more likely to end in divorce than happily ever after.

    Gabon will face Cameroon, while Burkina Faso come up against Guinea Bissau in their last group game and anything apart from a win for Gabon and Burkina Faso will complicate their qualification to the next round.

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