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Gabon Stun Cameroon to top Group D

Last Updated: 1/17/2010 12:56:32 PM

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Gabon stun neighbours Cameroon 1-0 in the opening match of their Group D encounter. The upset means none of Africa's world Cup bound teams so far have been able to secure a victory in their opening matches. ....

Gabon stun Cameroon
Gabon stun Cameroon

Gabon grabbed a famous victory over neighbours Cameroon as their recent rivalry resumed. Both sides had already met earlier in the 2010 World Cup qualification. In the two head to head matches in that competition Cameroon won both, so this was sweet revenge for the Gabonese.

Cameroon's loss also means that four of the African representatives in the this years 2010 World Cup Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, Algeria and now Cameroon have failed to post a victory so far in the Nations cup.

The hero for Gabon was Hull City striker Daniel Cousin. Cousin scored early in the first half and despite numerous goalmouth scares Gabon held on to record only their second victory in four appearances at the biennial continental showcase.

Veteran Cameroon central defender Rigobert Song created history when the match kicked off by becoming the first footballer to play in eight Nations Cup tournaments.

The 33-year-old from Turkish club Trabzonspor overtook current Egypt captain Ahmed Hassan and two retired stars, compatriot Hossam Hassan and Ivorian Alain Gouamene.

Cameroon started by taking the game to Gabon and Achille Emana was unlucky after eight minutes when his shot was pushed on to the post and away for a corner by goalkeeper Didier Ovono.

But the game took a dramatic twist on 17 minutes when the Indomitable Lions failed to clear a cross and Cousin darted through to push the ball wide of goalkeeper Iddriss Kameni and give Gabon a shock lead.

Going in front boosted the confidence of outsiders Gabon and they retained the advantage until half-time with reasonable comfort as Cameroon star Samuel Eto'o failed to make his expected impact.

Geremi Njitap did worry Ovono with a free kick and Eto'o finally came to life just before the break with a dribble past several defenders, but the ball was eventually cleared.

Cameroon's France-born coach Paul le Guen made a change in central midfield for the second half, introducing Tchoyi Somen for Landry Nguemo and the new face was soon making his presence felt.

Ovono, who once battled to make a living playing in El Salvador, was in inspired form and did well to parry a close-range header off a corner and foiled Eto'o when the Inter Milan striker seemed poised to equalise.

Frustration crept into the game as Cameroon continued to dominate possession only to be thwarted by Ovono, who used his feet to push away a close-range Emana drive at the expense of a corner.

Gabon time wasting cost midfielder Stephane Nguema and striker Roguy Meye yellow cards with the latter booked for taking too long to leave the field when substituted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Ovono came to the rescue again as time ticked away, touching a dipping free kick from Njitap over the crossbar and the resultant corner ended with Rigobert Song blazing over.


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