Gabon is through to the quarter finals of the Orange African Nations Championship after leaving it beat brave Mauritania 4-2 during the final match in Group D that was played Wednesday 22nd January night at Free State Stadium in Mangaung. Two headed goals from Duval Filet Nzembi and Edmond Mouele, a late strike from substitute Bonaventure Sokambi Taty and a late penalty Taty cancelled out a brace from Mauritania’s Moulaye Ahmed Khalil. The lively Khalil opened the scoring after four (4) minutes when he ran onto a through ball and tacked it away expertly beyond the Gabonese goalkeeper Yves Bitseki Moto.
With 85 minutes on the clock and for the second time in as many games debutants Mauritania looked like have earned their first win of Orange African Nations Championship only for two late goals from more experienced Gabonese to deny them a hard fought win.
In the other group D game, DR Congo had Jean–Marc Masuku Mundele to thank for his brace which secured a 2-1 win over Burundi and qualification to the quarter finals as Group winners. Their reward is an encounter with group C winners Ghana in Mangaung while Group D winners Gabon will return to Polokwane to face Libya
Mauritania will rue their luck after matching Gabon for long periods of the match and just like in their last match against Burundi they were within minutes of a win but end of match fatigue and lack of concentration cost them again.
Moulaye Ahmed Khalil was a constant threat to Gabonese defence with some purposeful runs behind his markers. N a see saw battle that had chances at both ends , Gabonese captain, Daniel Cousin wasted the best of chances before he was substituted In the first half Cousin broke through on goal but was so slowly in making up his decision that goalkeeper came off his line to kick away the ball. On the 35th minute he missed an even simpler chance when he hit the post from five meters out with keeper Braham Souleyman already on the floor.
Mauritania looked like they had weathered the storm as Gabon pushed forward looking for an equaliser. On 86th minute Mouele headed in from a corner to make 2-2 then substitute Taty scored the third and fourth to condemn Mauritania to a defeat that didn’t look possible with five minutes or regular time gone.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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