THE DAY REPLAYED – Hosts Gabon are out of the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations following Sunday’s draw with Cameroon in Libreville. Burkina Faso’s comfortable win over tournament debutants Guinea-Bissau saw them advance to the quarter-finals as group winners. FIFA.com recaps a dramatic final day of action in Group A.
The day’s results
Gabon 0-0 Cameroon
Guinea-Bissau 0-2 Burkina Faso
In front of an expectant crowd at the Stade de l’Amitie, Gabon needed a victory to ensure their passage to the knockout stages after drawing their first two matches in the group. In what proved to be a disappointing contest, the Panthers squandered two major chances to win the game. Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have sleepless nights after failing to tap home Denis Bouanga’s low cross just three minutes in. That was followed by a huge injury-time opportunity for the hosts, as Bouanga hit the post before Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa made a brilliant save on the rebound to deny Didier N'Dong. Only needing a draw to advance, the Indomitable Lions created several chances to win the match themselves, but had to settle for a point and second place in Group A.
At the same time in Franceville, Burkina Faso took care of business by defeating Guinea-Bissau. The Stallions opened the scoring on 11 minutes through a Rudinilson own goal after a defensive mix-up in the Os Djurtus defence. Though Guinea-Bissau tried to clear the ball off their own goalline, Prejuce Nakoulma thumped the rebound home to ensure Burkina Faso had their match winner. Shortly after half-time, a fine run and finish by Bertrand Traore doubled Burkina Faso’s lead and secured them top spot in Group A. Guinea-Bissau, meanwhile, head home from their first-ever appearance at a major tournament with a draw and two defeats.
Highlight of the day
Deep into second-half injury time in Libreville, Gabon’s hopes of scoring a dramatic late winner were dashed in an incredible sequence of events. Bouanga’s initial shot struck the woodwork before some remarkable goalkeeping from Cameroon’s Ondoa denied N'Dong at point-blank range to earn the Indomitable Lions a decisive draw.
23 – Before Gabon’s exit from their own tournament on Sunday, the last time a host nation was eliminated from an Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage was 23 years ago when Tunisia missed out in 1994.
Monday 23 January (all times local)
The winners of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 will represent the continent at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.