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Africa Cup of Nations Day 3 as it happened

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LATEST ACTION AS IT HAPPENS (ALL TIMES GMT)

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GROUP C:
Gabon 2-0 Niger (FT)
Morocco 1-2 Tunisia (FT)

By Stephen Fottrell

2105: So thanks for joining us for the Group C opening games. Check back in with us on Tuesday for Ghana v Botswana and Mali v Guinea in Group D.

2102: And Nana, right score, but wrong result! But you can try all over again tomorrow when your Black Stars are in action.

2057: A great opening result for Tunisia, as they claim the bragging rights in this North African clash, as they did when the teams last met eight years ago. Tunisia won the tournament then. Could this spur them on to do so again? Well, it's certainly a result that will give them massive encouragement. Morocco have work to do and only have themselves to blame for missing a string of opportunities.

2053: FULL-TIME! Morocco 1-2 Tunisia

2052: Mathlouthi is booked for time-wasting as Tunisia try to hang on.

2051: And Kharjah is unlucky not to double his tally and bring Morocco level as he creates space for himself well in the box, only to shoot just over.

2049: Five minutes of injury time given as Morocco chase an equaliser.

2048: And there was more than a hint of offside about Kantari there as he set up that goal, but it stands. Tunisia's Ammar Jemal receives a yellow card for a bit of afters following that one.

2046: Skipper Houcine Kharjah heads in from close range after Ahmed Kantari's headed flick back in front of goal to set up a tight finish.

2044: GOAL! Morocco 1-2 Tunisia

2041: Badr El Kaddouri showing some of Morocco's frustration by being handed a yellow for a rash challenge. That may have been his way to vent after being one of Morocco's defenders to watch Msakni glide past them for that second goal.

2039: And Dhaouadi is given a rest with Tunisia now comfortably 2-0 up, as he is replaced by Amine Chermiti.

2035: SubstituteYoussef Msakni scores a wonderful first goal for his country, with a goal all of his own making as he dances through the Moroccan defence and shoots across Lamyaghri's goal for Tunisia's second.

2033: GOAL! Morocco 0-2 Tunisia

2032: Tunisia are happy to keep seeing off one wave after another of Moroccan attacks, while they patiently build their own counter attacks.

2029: The clock ticking for Morocco as they continue to miss great chances to equalise, and are almost punished once more at the other end as Mejdi Traoui draws a save out of Lamyaghri.

2025: And Morocco's Hadji misses another chance since his introduction, this one a bit of a howler, after collecting the ball beautifully, but blasting high and wide once more.

2023: And it's a bit scrappy and confined to the midfield at the minute, with another change coming for Tunisia, with Ragued Hosine coming on for Yassine Chikhaoui.

2018: And the Moroccans make their own change with Boussoufa taken off for Youssouf Hadji, who skies his first touch, a loose ball, well high and wide.

2015: Tunisia's Sami Allagui comes off and is replaced by Youssef Msakni.

2013: Taraabt has started his night out on the left hand side but has been given free reign to wander inside, as he tries to make a nuisance of himself, but Tunisia's defence are keeping pace with him so far.

2010: Boussoufa wastes another good chance to tee up a teammate from a free-kick just outside the area, but Mathlouthi gathers comfortably - the keeper is easily the man of the match for Tunisia so far.

2008: New QPR manager Mark Hughes will be watching Taarabt closely to see how he can get the best out of him on his return.

2007: And he's in the mix again, Taraabt, taking a pass from Chamakh and aiming for the near post, which Mathlouthi palms away.

2005: Taraabt, of course, was something of a surprise omission, but he's on for the second period and straight away into the thick of it, claiming a handball in the box from his first touch, which the referee waves away.

2003: And Morocco coach Eric Gerets' response to the missed chances up front in the first half is to bring on Adel Taraabt for Oussama Assaidi. And we're back underway..

2000: Well Nana, for that to happen, I'm sure you'll agree, the Atlas Lions will need to start taking some of their chances. They are doing well to create them, mainly courtesy of Mbark Boussoufa, but they will need to put them away to get back into it.

1956: Now, it is of course 1-0 to the Tunisians at the break, but Nana (see earlier updates) may still be on for his second prediction of the day as his fellow Ghanaian, Max is quick to point out by text: "Nana, if you get this prediction right after Tunisia's goal you'll officially be named 'Octopus Nana'."

1952: A really good competitive North African derby, this one. Morocco should really have converted one of several very good chances. Tunisia, however, capitalised well by scoring against the run of play directly from a long-range free kick. Tunisia also have Mathlouthi very much to thank in their goal for keeping a clean sheet so far.

1949: HALF-TIME! Morocco 0-1 Tunisia

1948: Two quick opportunities for Morocco to equalise - Younes Belhanda shoots just wide after a good run into the area, and then Chamakh has a great opportunity to latch onto a looping ball, but Mathlouthi does enough to put him off.

1943: And it seems Khelifa knows as much too, as he throws a knowing glance at Korbi as if to say "your goal!"

1940: Khelifa looks like he has been credited with that one, but it looked like it went straight in just over his head, as Khelifa did enough to distract Lamyaghri, who could not stop it nestling in the corner.

1936: And Tunisia make Morocco pay for missing their early string of chances, with Khaled Korbi floating in a free kick from well outside the area, after Morocco's Mehdi Benatia earned a yellow card for fouling Dhaouadi, and his free kick appears to go straight in, despite Saber Khelifa appearing to claim it.

1934: GOAL! Morocco 0-1 Tunisia.

1931: Tunisia defender Ammar Jemal struggling to recover from a knock on the head, but he too will continue on. Made of strong stuff on both sides.

1929: Another good chance for Morocco, with a free-kick right on the edge of the box from Badr El Kaddouri tipped over well by Mathlouthi.

1926: Tunisia's Korbi picks up a yellow for a meaty challenge on Boussoufa.

1925: A great effort from Tunisia's Zouhair Dhaouadi, who releases a cracker of a strike from outside the box with his left peg, which hits the outside of the post. Unlucky.

1922: The Moroccans are linking up well here and playing some good passing football to increase the early pressure on Tunisia.

1919: Another good save from Mathlouthi, with Boussoufa looking to beat him on the near post. Mathlouthi a very busy man so far. Boussoufa too, for that matter.

1917: An anonymous text just in: "I'm half Moroccan, half English and I'm in Fes at the moment. All the streets in the town centre are closed and the atmosphere is as if Morocco have already won. 2-1 Morocco, Chamakh to score first." That's the second prediction with that score. An omen?

1915: A good pace opening to the game, with the neighbours from the north having a good go at each other from the off. Morocco creating more of the chances so far.

1913: Boussoufa and Chamakh immediately afterwards link up well, with the Arsenal man put clean through, but firing straight at Mathlouthi, who smothers well.

1910: A good threatening venture into the box from Nordin Amrabat to win a corner for Morocco, but Boussoufa's delivery goes straight into Mathlouthi's hands.

1909: And the first shot on goal goes to Tunisia in their first venture forward, Karim Haggui bringing an early save out of Lamyaghri, after a good corner from Zouhair Dhaouadi.

1907: All the early pressure has come from Morocco, with little chances created so far. Chamakh just venturing offside.

1904: And an early free-kick for Morocco, from Mbark Boussoufa, who wastes a good opportunity to deliver from the edge of the box, by firing over the bar.

1900: And Tunisia get us underway on time in our second game of the day.

1859: And we're just about to get underway in Libreville...

1857: As for Tunisia's line-up, there's no place in the starting line-up for Amine Chermiti, who was a regular in qualifying. And also no starting berth for highly-rated Oussama Darragui in midfield.

1854: Let's just digest those team line-ups, then. Morocco's team throws up some surprises, with a start for goalkeeper Nadir Lamyaghri, who has not played since he was injured for the African Champions League final, where his side Wydad Casablanca lost to Esperance. Also, no start for QPR's Adel Taraabt, with Arsenal's Marouane Chamakh favoured, with Oussama Assaidi partnering him up front.

1850: Tunisia line-up: 16-Aymen Mathlouthi; 20-Aymen Abdennour, 2-Karim, Haggui, 2-Bilel Ifa, 5-Ammar Jemal; 8-Khaled Korbi, 14-Mejdi Traoui, 9-Yassine Chikhaoui, 15-Zouhair Dhaouadi; 11-Sami Allagui, 19-Saber Khlifa

1848: Morocco line-up: 1-Nadir Lamyaghri; 2-Michael Chretien, 5-Mehdi Benatia, 3-Badr El Kaddouri, 4-Ahmed Kantari; 13-Houcine, Kharjah, 11-Oussama Assaidi, 10-Younes Belhanda, 14-Mbark Boussoufa; 21-Nordin Amrabat, 17-Marouane Chamakh

1839: A text here for those of you following us throughout our first game. Enoch in the US says: "In reference to Deo Mbingwa in Malawi, the Black Stars are going to teach a footballing lesson to Botswana, no pun intended, just stating the facts."

1836: The Moroccans, meanwhile, are many people's outside tip for the trophy, with plenty of talent in Eric Gerets' squad, including QPR's Adel Taarabt.

1832: Tunisia are without Issam Jemaa, their top scorer in qualifying, with the Auxerre striker sidelined for the group stages of the competition with an ankle injury.

1830: This is the first meeting between the two sides in the finals since 2004, when Tunisia triumphed on home soil.

1828: Well, as we await the teams and any potential Tunisian rebukes to Nana's punt for Morrocco, let's have a look at what we know about these two sides going into their opener this evening, then.

1825: And Nana from Ghana is straight back to us by text with his predicition for this one: "Let's see," he ponders, "..hmm.. Morocco will beat Tunisia 2-1." A bold prediciton Nana, but given your record already today, who are we to doubt you? Tunisian fans might, though.

1820: Right, I would also venture that you know a Nations Cup tournament is truly underway when a North African derby kicks off, and that will be in just 40 minutes' time with the meeting of Group C contenders, Morocco and Tunisia.

1815: Thank you to Piers Edwards, who is already becoming a bit of a lucky charm it seems for the two host countries, having also talked us through Equatorial Guinea's opening win over Libya on Saturday. Good work, I would venture.

By Piers Edwards

1810: That's all from me. I'll be back for tomorrow's first games in Group D but now, Stephen Fottrell has the pleasure of describing the action from Libreville, in what should be a tense encounter between Tunisia and Morocco.

1802: Nana from Ghana can't resist pointing out his fine work. "Got my prediction right - Gabon won 2-0." Ok, Nana, now for the hard part - how's the next one going to end?!

1756: Gabon President Ali Bongo is up on his feet, as is a whole nation no doubt, after the Panthers earn a well-deserved 2-0 win over Niger. For large parts of the match, it was one-way traffic for the co-hosts who opened the scoring through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's well-taken header after 30 minutes. Stephane Nguema doubled the lead shortly before half-time and then the Panthers had the luxury of slowing down against a Niger side who struggled to make any impact but will be relieved to have suffered no more than a two-goal defeat.

"All over - you can feel the relief!" tweets John Bennett inside the Stade de l'Amitie. "Manga goes straight to the fans behind the goal where Gabon scored - lap of honour now. Perfect start."

Perfect start indeed, and the Group C action is set to get ever more intriguing with kick-off between Tunisia and Morocco just over an hour away. You may not need reminding but these two long-time North African rivals last met in the 2004 finals, which the Carthage Eagles won on home soil. Morocco's instant response to the draw was a theme of revenge, and they have their chance from 1900 GMT. Are the Atlas Lions dark horses for this Nations Cup?

1753: FULL-TIME Gabon 2-0 Niger

1752: Cousin is inches away again as he picks up possession on the edge of the box and tries an ambitious curler that goes over the centre of Niger's goal. One for the crowd to enjoy with just a minute left.

1748: Daniel Cousin makes an instant impression as his whipped cross almost plays in for Mouloungui for the third goal of the game, but the Panthers forward can't direct his effort on goal - just making the slightest of touches. 'Ole's ring out around the Libreville stadium with the Gabonese just seconds away from picking up all three points. Three minutes of added time to play and Lloyd Palun comes on for Gabonese youngster Andre Biyogo, a composed performance from the Olympic star.

1746: Rob in Wolverhampton asks "Very interesting to see, according to today's paper, that Bolton are trying to rush through the signing of Bangoura of Guinea - do they see a talent the big clubs will seek after the cup?" Maybe they do Rob, because Bangoura used to do the business for Dynamo Kiev before moving to the Gulf. To the best of my knowledge, he was made a free agent just before this competition, so this could be some swift work by Bolton. Has Champions League goals to his game, but needs some fitness by all accounts.

1745: "Looks like this match is going to end like this, no more goals to be scored! Zambia did it, Angola have done it, trust me, Botswana will do it tomorrow!" texts Deo Mbingwa in Malawi.

1742: Aubameyang almost grabs Gabon's third as Amadou Dodo makes another schoolboy error at the back, jumping over the ball and letting it bounce off him and onto the St Etienne forward. But his low 25-yarder goes inches wide of Daouda's right-hand post. Seconds later, Gabon's stand-out player comes off to a huge reception as former Premier League player Daniel Cousin, wearing the number 10 shirt, comes on for the Panthers. Wearing yellow shirts and blue shorts and socks, their strip looks like Brazil's - and their joyous fans, singing and dancing in the stands, will probably tell you Gabon are playing like them too. Into the last five minutes...

1741: Dan in Blantyre, Malawi, is one devoted follower of this online page. "Blimey - daily black-out making football supporters in Malawi miss the Nations Cup! Bravo BBC, what would we do without you! Getting minute by minute action."

1740: Into the last 10 minutes and will Gabon find a third to cap off their fine display, or can Niger pull one back? I know where my money is.

1738: Gabon keeper Didier Ovono is called into meaningful action for the first time as Moussa Maazou peels off at the back post and heads a deep cross from Boubacar down but too close to the Panthers' number one. The Gabonese defence simply switched off.

1738: Niger seem to have run out of ideas but are only playing with 10 men after Amadou was forced off, with coach Harouna Doula having made all three of his changes.

1735: Bruno Mbanangoye comes on for goalscorer Nguema as Gabon's German coach Gernot Rohr makes his first change. No surprise to see Nguema off given the needless yellow card he picked up just minutes ago.

1733: Gabon are still enjoying the majority of possession, while Niger are being pushed back constantly. Mouele is played in behind the Gabonese defence with a lovely inside pass from Andre Biyogo but fine defending by Niger's Mohamed blocks the cross.

1730: The Moroccan team have arrived ahead of their big clash against Tunisia, which kicks off at 1900 GMT and which my colleague Stephen Fottrell will talk you through. Inside the Stade de l'Amitie, the BBC's John Bennett tweets: "Marcel Desailly is in front of me. He'll be impressed by Gabon's Bruno Manga. The CB replaced Laurent Koscielny at Lorient - solid."

1728: The first yellow of the match for Gabon as Nguema, who grabbed the Panthers' second goal, fells Amadou with a loose challenge.

1724: Tin in Nottingham has texted in. "Moussa Maazou looks a decent player, the Niger equivalent of Grant Holt. Sad to see he has no support." For your information Tin (Tim?), Maazou has previously played for some top-level teams - CSKA Moscow, Monaco and Bordeaux among them. Problem is that he is now playing in Belgium after having to leave Bordeaux after making some ill-advised comments about their fans. Shop window for him, though, undoubtedly.

1722: Niger make another change as Amadou comes on for Boubacar Talatou. Coach Harouna Doula is trying to stem the tide but there's a long way still to go. Over a quarter of the game still left.

1720: Niger win another corner as Moussa Maazou, who has barely troubled the Gabon defence all game, tries to wriggle free in the box. Poor delivery from Boubacar, though, as his inswinger sails all the way through. Might have helped if one of his colleagues had attacked the cross.

1717: Niger keeper Daouda has to be alert again as he charges out from goal to hack clear on the edge of the box as Aubameyang looks to pounce on some further wayward defending by the Mena, this time centre-back Amadou Dodo the guilty party.

1716: Substitution for Niger as Souleymane Mazadou is replaced by peroxide-blond Jimmy Bulus.

1710: The BBC's John Bennett has tweeted how Niger's players gathered "outside the centre circle to pray just before kick-off. Captain Laouli trying to encourage the players". It's not working so far as Gabon display their superiority again as Eric Mouloungui, a seasoned professional in France where he plays for Nice, is closed down smartly by Daouda after the Niger defence fails to deal with Aubameyang's innocuous through ball. Good goalkeeping and a first sniff for Mouloungui, who's worked hard today.

1706: Even before they kicked a ball in anger at these finals, the Nigerien delegation were speaking of how they simply hoped to use the experience of their first Nations Cup to develop. With former champions Morocco and Tunisia to come, and trailing 2-0 just minutes into the second half here, they could be set for a very steep learning curve.

1705: We're back under way as Gabon kick off the second half, leading 2-0 and enjoying the perfect start to their Nations Cup co-hosting.

1704: Steve in London does believe in something of a comeback, even if it still ends in defeat. 'Niger to mount a mighty comeback but to only lose 3-2,' he says.

1700: A quick chance to look ahead to tomorrow's opening round of matches in Group D. Ghana, one of the tournament favourites, kick matters off at 1600 GMT when facing Botswana's Zebras, who are making their debut at the finals. The Black Stars will be without centre-back Isaac Vorsah though as he is suspended. Later on, Mali must face Guinea but without Mahamane Traore after he was ruled out of the tournament with injury. Cheick Fantamady Diarra of Rennes has come in to take his place, the third late change enforced upon Eagles coach Alain Giresse because of injury.

1654: Thoko Bodza-Mbewe in Malawi has texted in to +44 77 86 20 20 08 to say "As I see it, Niger will be in big trouble after the break". I think most of us would agree, but are there any dissenting voices out there who believe in a mighty Mena comeback?

1651: The half-time whistle blows and Gabon's fans are in dreamland. They bossed the first half, more or less from start to finish, and just when Niger were showing some signs of life at the end of the half, Nguema doubled the lead to give the Mena a mountain to climb.

1647: Just after Niger enjoy their best spell, Gabon double their lead. Eric Mouloungui does brilliantly to dispossess Niger right-back Souleymane Mazadou and free Moussouno, whose fine left-wing cross is headed by Aubameyang straight at Daouda from six yards out. The Niger keeper does well to block but his parry falls to a gleeful Stephane Nguema, who can't miss an open goal from five yards.

1647: GOAL! Gabon 2-0 Niger

1646: Interesting work from the Niger coach as Harouna Doula makes a change just seconds before half-time. Issoufou Dante, who had twice clattered into Gabon left-back Moussounou, is off.

1644: Boubacar delivers a far better ball and Niger come the closest they have to scoring by quite some distance. An initial header is blocked before Boubarac Talatou has a go from eight yeards, only for Gabon's Bruno Ecuele Manga to block the danger superbly.

1643: Niger win first corner of the match. The left-footed Boubacar swings it over but it doesn't beat the first man again, and Niger have their second corner.

1637: Neat footwork from midfielder Issoufou Boubacar wins Niger their first free-kick inside the Gabon half, but the delivery doesn't beat the first man and Gabon comfortably clear their lines. In goal, Didier Ovono has had the easiest of afternoons so far. I think he's touched it once, but I could be wrong. Seven minutes to half-time...

1637: Niger have been more enterprising after the goal but that wasn't too difficult after their fairly anonymous start. They've come out of their shell a bit but it's still Gabon enjoying by far the better of this match.

1633: The man upon whom all Gabon depend, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, gets on the end of Stephane Nguema's deep looped cross. Niger keeper Kassaly Daouda comes out to gather but can't get a touch, and Gabon's number nine squeezes his headers into the narrowest of gaps. Good finish and who could argue with the co-hosts being in the lead?

1633: GOAL! Gabon 1-0 Niger

1631: It's still all Gabon - albeit without any real chances on goal - as Niger struggle to make any impression in the final third, should they get that far that is. The Nigeriens only qualified thanks to winning all their games at home, losing all three away, so this is a big test for them on their Nations Cup debut. So far, they don't look like scoring, but will that change? Text in on +44 77 86 20 20 08.

1628: First yellow card of the game is fully deserved as Moussouno is clattered again - once more by Dante. Studs were up and that could easily have been a red card. Feet were up and the Nigerien was very lucky to get a foot on the ball. Moussouno is back up thankfully.

1628: The game enters a quiet spell after the break and now another player is down. Left-back Charly Moussouno has taken a knock to the head after colliding with Issoufu Dante. He's gone off the pitch as the game resumes, before Maillet waves him back on.

1624: A slight delay to the game as Daouda goes down clutching his head. He's back up but this is a good chance for Niger's defence to get their breath back. Despite being under the cosh, they are still level as the first half reaches the midway point.

1621: Best chance of the match falls to Aubameyang but Daouda does brilliantly in the Niger goal. A cross is headed on by a Nigerien to Aubameyang in acres of space but the Niger number one charges out to block the effort and the danger is cleared. Excellent chance, excellent goalkeeping.

1619: Fine passing from the Gabonese in midfield almost undoes the Nigeriens, but the ball is scrambled clear inside the box. Gabon enjoying this start and playing by far the better football. Niger look like they could do with half-time already.

1616: Niger finally enter the Gabonese penalty area and have a shot on goal if you can call the pea-roller from Maazou, from a tight angle on the edge of the box, a shot.

1614: Text in from Nana Abiri in Ghana, who says 'Gabon will win 2-0'. On the pitch, Niger manage to get as far as the edge of the Gabonese penalty area but with 12 minutes played, that's their only real advance of the game. They need to hold onto the ball better if they are not to have a troublesome Nations Cup.

1613: Another corner to Gabon as Laouali heads Aubameyang's free-kick away. From the corner, Niger struggle to clear their lines again until Madinda can't keep his cross in play.

1610: A horrendous slice in the Niger defence allows Cedric Moubamba to have a crack at goal from the D, but he slices across it and fails to trouble Daouda in the Niger goal. Let-off for the Mena following some lamentable defending.

1607: Niger are camped inside their own half following a blistering start from Gabon.

1606: The first shot on target comes in on after three-and-a-half minutes as Laouli blocks a volley from Levy Madinda on the edge of the box. The corner is not cleared and Kassaly Daouda looks nervous in the Niger goal as he spills a long-range effort behind for a second corner. Not yet five minutes played.

1605: Gabon are instantly on the attack but Niger repel the first attacking wave before winning a free-kick after the Panthers think they should have a corner.

1603: The 2012 Nations Cup has started in Gabon as the Mena kick off the opening game in Group C. Morocco and Tunisia, don't forget, meet tonight for the first time since the Tunisians beat the Moroccans in the 2004 final.

1601: Eddy Maillet of the Seychelles tosses the coin and Niger will kick this game off. Don't forget to text in your thoughts to us on +44 77 86 20 20 08.

1558: If Stade de l'Amitie had a roof, it might have been blown off as the national anthem echoes across the arena. The stadium is bathed in bright sunshine, with fans bedecked in yellow jerseys filling the stands. Gabon will be wearing yellow shirts, with blue socks and shorts, while Niger are white jerseys (with orange flecks), white shorts and orange socks.

1556: A proud moment for all Nigeriens as the country's national anthem rings out at the Nations Cup for the first time.

1553: The teams are out on the pitch where Gabon President Ali Bongo is shaking hands with the players. In the stands, one Samuel Eto'o - and the pain of absence must cut deep for all Cameroonians. The Indomitable Lions failed to qualify for the finals, all the more galling since the country borders both Gabon and Equatorial Guinea - the two countries co-hosting this year's tournament.

1550: As for Niger, Moussa Maazou leads the line as expected and he is the danger man, although Gabon will have to watch strike partner Issoufou Dante as well. Dante plays for Raja Casablanca, who reached the semi-finals of the African Champions League last year. Between the sticks, Daouda Kassaly is another key man - with the goalkeeper playing for DR Congo's TP Mazembe, Africa's 2010 champions. Long-serving Idrissa Laouali captains the side.

1546: So some reaction to the line-ups. No real surprises for the hosts with 2010 goalkeeper Didier Ovono between the sticks. Ahead of them, there's a place for Remy Ebanega, a member of Gabon's victorious Olympic squad, to come in - with the youngster profiting from the injury to regular centre-back Jean-Pierre Bamba. Another Olympic member, Andre Biyogo (who is on the books of French side Bordeaux), starts but the man Gabon fans most want to see isSt Etienne forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. His father captained Gabon during their Nations Cup debut in 1994, so it's no doubt a proud day for him to see his son as the main man as Gabon gets ready to host its first Nations Cup match.

1543: Niger line-up: 16-Daouda Kassaly; 13-Mohamed Chicoto, 4-Kader Amadou Dodo, 15-Souleymane Mazadou, 22-Mohamed Soumaila; 14-Issoufou Boubacar, 3-Abdoul Karim Lancina, 6-Idrissa Laouali, 10-Boubacar Talatou; 11-Issoufou Alhassane Dante, 2-Moussa Maazou.

1541: Gabon line-up: 1-Didier Ovono; 3-Edmond Mouele, 4-Remy Ebanega, 5-Bruno Ecuele Manga, 22-Charly Moussonou; 18-Cedric Moubamba, 14-Levy Madinda, 15-Andre Biyogo Poko; 7-Stephane Nguema, 11-Eric Mouloungui, 9-Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

1538: So while we wait for full confirmation of the line-ups, a chance to throw the spotlight on Niger. The Mena were, to my money, the shock qualifiers for these finals, finishing above none other than Egypt - who have won the last three Nations Cups - in their group. That doesn't tell the whole story of course because who can forget the inept (and that's a kind word) fashion in which South Africa failed to qualify, as their inability to fully understand the rules saw them play for a draw at home to Sierra Leone in the mistaken belief that it would take them through. Nil-nil it ended in South Africa, a result that qualified the Nigeriens on the day!

1535: Full team line-ups to follow shortly, but one major piece of team news is that Daniel Cousin will not start for the hosts. The former Hull City striker returned home in October to play for Sapins in Libreville, with the specific aim of putting himself in front of the eyes of Gabon coach Gernot Rohr. However, the German says Cousin is short of match fitness and so the forward starts the game on the bench.

1532: The BBC's John Bennett inside the Stade de l'Amitie says both sets of fans are out in force, with Niger supporters obviously dwarfed by those backing the hosts. The stadium was specifically built for these finals and opened in November as Gabon's Panthers played a prestigious friendly against Brazil, losing 2-0. Capable of holding some 40,000 spectators, the arena in the Gabonese capital will host the 2012 Nations Cup final itself on 12 February.

1530 GMT: We're off again and after two enthralling days to open the action, what are we in store for today? The short is answer is that co-hosts Gabon kick off their Group C campaign in half an hour as they face a Niger side making their Africa Cup of Nations debut. Later tonight, 2004 champions Tunisia take on the side they beat in the final eight years ago - Morocco - it should be some game.



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