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Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Cameroon 0-1 Gabon

By Dave Lee and Stephen Fottrell

Daniel Cousin of Gabon
Hull's Daniel Cousin put Gabon ahead after 17 minutes

Gabon are the latest team to cause a major upset at the Africa Cup of Nations, after they clung on to beat four-time champions Cameroon 1-0.

Hull City striker Daniel Cousin put the Gabonese ahead in the 17th minute when he capitalised on poor defending to stroke home a well-placed shot.

Cameroon piled on the pressure in the second half, with Achille Emana and under-par Samuel Eto'o coming close.

But Gabon goalkeeper Ovono Ebang's solid display kept Cameroon at bay.

The Indomitable Lions spent much of the second half peppering the Gabon goal.

But the first period was more balanced than many would have predicted.

Gabon set out to play positive, attacking football from the off.

Cameroon came close early on when Emana forced a fingertip save from Ovono Ebang who pushed the shot onto the post.

Gabon took a deserved lead when Cousin shrugged off Rigobert Song, who is playing at his record eighth Nations Cup finals, to sneak in and put the ball past Carlos Kameni to make it 1-0.

Samuel Eto'o (L) of Cameroon and Daniel Cousin (R) of Gabon
Samuel Eto'o struggled to make his mark on the game

Gabon were not content to sit on their lead, and could have made it two when Kameni's unconvincing punch fell to Cousin, whose poor first touch denied him a clear goal-scoring chance.

Samuel Eto'o was uncharacteristically quiet on his return from a knee injury.

There were glimpses of quality from Cameroon's all-time top scorer, however, with his quick feet almost creating a chance before he was hounded out by several Gabon defenders.

The result sees Gabon go top of a group that also includes Zambia and Tunisia, while Paul Le Guen's World Cup qualifying side will have much to do in their remaining two group games.

"We are very pleased we got a win in the first game," said Gabon's French coach Alain Giresse, who came out on top in the head-to-head meeting against his countryman Le Guen.

"The system worked well. Technically we were very good.

"Even if we finish second in this group, we will be happy. What we want is to qualify for the next round."

The Cameroonians become the third World Cup qualifiers to lose their opening game in Angola, after Algeria and Nigeria, while Ivory Coast drew their first match against Burkina Faso.

Eto'o, however, played down the significance of the result after the match.

"It's not a big problem," he said. "We have to win our next game. We controlled the game but we didn't score."

Cameroon: Kameni, Song, N'Koulou, Bedimo (Enoh 76), Song Billong, Emana, Geremi, Makoun, N'Guemo (Tchoyi 46), Webo (Idrissou 64), Eto'o.

Subs Not Used:Hamidou, Binya, Chedjou, Alo'o Efoulou, M'bia Etoundi, Mandjeck, Matip, Bikey, Ndy Assembe.

Gabon: Ovono Ebang, N'Guema Obane, Moundounga , Ecuele Manga, Ambourouet, Apanga, Kessany Zategwa, Mbanangoye (Djissikadie 64), Moubamba, Ndoumbou (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 77), Cousin.

Subs Not Used: Nguema Bekale, Copa, Akouassaga, Mouloungui, Willy Aubameyang, Arsene Do Marcolino, Fabrice Do Marcolino, Issiemou, Moto, Moro Mve.

Booked: N'Guema Obane, Ndoumbou.

Goals: Cousin 17.

Att: 15,000

Ref: Daniel Bennet (South Africa).

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see also
Geremi - 'we are almost ready'
12 Nov 09 |  African
Cameroon omit Bassong from squad
23 Dec 09 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
07 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations tables
07 Jan 10 |  African

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