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Hosts Gabon looking for vastly improved Cup showing
January 18, 2017 / 2:08 AM / a year ago

Hosts Gabon looking for vastly improved Cup showing

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Hosts Gabon will be looking for a vastly improved performance at the African Nations Cup on Wednesday when they play Burkina Faso in their second Group A game.

Football Soccer - African Cup of Nations - Gabon v Guinea-Bissau - Stade de l'Amitie - Libreville, Gabon - 14/1/17 - Gabon's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring a goal with Malick Evouna. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Giving away a late equaliser to minnows Guinea Bissau in Saturday’s opener at the Stade l’Amitie put Gabon under immediate pressure but a draw in the other group game between Burkina Faso and Cameroon means all four teams are level.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is again key to the home team’s hope after scoring the tournament’s opening goal but carries a heavy burden of expectation, while Burkina Faso have a much more experienced team and could dent home hopes.

Also on Wednesday, Guinea Bissau look to continue their fairytale run. Qualifying for the first time was a major achievement for one of the continent’s poorest countries but they are now looking to extend their run against Cameroon.

But the four-time champions have key striker Vincent Aboubakar back from injury and coach Hugo Broos said on Tuesday they were determined to make up for letting their lead slip against Burkina Faso.

“Since Saturday, we have had the opportunity to work hard and correct what did not work against Burkina Faso. We are going to be stronger mentally and more able to realise our opportunities,” he told reporters.

Ghana went top of Group D on Tuesday after Andre Ayew’s first-half penalty proved enough to beat Uganda. Egypt and Mali drew 0-0 in the other encounter in Port Gentil.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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