Gabon’s Panthers register win against Comoros in opening match

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A lone goal by Aaron Salem Boupendza was enough to help Gabon defeat Comoros in the second Group C match of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2021 played on Monday evening.

Gabon who played the match without their usual star skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made their intentions known from the start of the match at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The Panthers made several attacks at goal in the first 10 minutes, but it was Boupendza’s 17th tight angled strike that made the difference.

The Comoros defenders failed to clear away a long cross, giving Boupendza the chance to run in the box and blast the ball in the roof of the goal past goalkeeper Ahamada Ali Nadhoim.

After 22 minutes Comoros pushed forward but failed to make use of their attack. The Panthers’ Jim Emilien Ngowet Allevinah continued causing difficulty for the Comoros team with his quick dribbling skills.

In the second half the Comoros coach Amir Ed Dine Abdou pushed his players forward as they looked more composed creating more opportunities at the Gabon goal.

But it was Gabon that almost scored again after 71 minutes, but Athanase Dennis Bouanga’s close shot was parried away for a corner by the Comoros’ goalkeeper Ahamada Ali Nadhoim.

The Comoros team did not not give up as substitute Djoumoi Moussa had a shot punched back into play by the Gabon goalkeeper Jean Noel Amonome.

The two teams continued to create scoring opportunities, but the final punch was lacking.

Gabon’s win sends them to joint top in Group C with Morocco who earlier stopped the Black Stars of Ghana by the same 1-0 margin.

What they said

Araron Boupendza (Man of the Match)

“Congratulations to the teammates. Without them, we would not have had such a performance.The most important thing is the audience and we give it them all. I contributed to it in my own way. We prepared this match with a lot of pressure. We did all effort to start the competition calmly. The goal we score is to free the team and enter with confidence to the rest of this big competition. It’s important for us, but also for the fans.”

Patrice Neveu (Gabon Coach)

“Before the game, I had four major players who were absent. Fortunately, Boupendza’s goal freed us. We had offensive opportunities that we could have achieved by being more spontaneous. The Comoros team was valiant. We were solid defensively. For the coming games we will have to do much more. The three points will allow us to gain confidence. Our goal is to get out of the group stage”.

Amir Abdou (Comoros Coach)

“We lacked realism and lucidity over the last 30 meters. They had an opportunity and hurt us. We tried to find spaces, put extra in front of the goalkeeper, but we were not in a good day. We took too few risks at the beginning of the game. Maybe it played tricks on us.

It’s extraordinary to be in this competition. We will have to keep working, persevere in what we are doing and keep our game. There is always disappointment after such a meeting but we will have to keep fighting. The next game is against Morocco, a formidable team. We will have to get up quickly. It will be necessary to know how to remobilize, to look ahead, to raise our heads to prepare the next game.” Source: Cafonline