LIBREVILLE, Jan 18 – Hosts Gabon were on the brink of elimination from the African Nations Cup after a second successive draw on Wednesday left them needing a result from their last game against Cameroon.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored again for Gabon but his first-half penalty only equalised against Burkina Faso in another 1-1 draw for the home team.
Cameroon went top as they fought back from a halftime deficit to dampen Guinea Bissau’s hopes of continuing their fairytale run in the competition with a 2-1 victory.
Cameroon made three bold substitutions after Piquiti had scored a glorious individual goal to give the small west African nation an early lead.
The Guinea Bissau winger picked up the ball in his own half, burst down the wing and cut inside to hammer home in the 13th minute and set his side potentially on the way to the biggest upset in tournament history.
“I didn’t recognise my team in the first half. They weren’t the Indomitable Lions, rather the dominated lions. We had no spirit, no collective,” Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said.
Sebastien Siani equalised in the 61st minute and Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui thrashed home the winner 12 minutes from time as Cameroon effectively moved to within one point of a quarter-final place.
“It’s not over, we still feel we can do something in the last game,” said former Liverpool reserve Toni Silva of Guinea Bissau’s last match against Burkina Faso in Franceville on Sunday.
Gabon must avoid defeat against Cameroon in Libreville, where home supporters seemed sceptical of their team’s chances and only 29,000 turned up for Wednesday’s game at the 40,000-capaocty Stade l’Amitie.
Burkina Faso went ahead through a solo effort from Prejuce Nakoulma before Aubameyang earned a penalty to level matters at halftime.
“We have no complaints about the penalty but we also had enough chances to win the game,” said Burkinabe coach Paulo Duarte, whose side also have two points.
Thursday’s matches are in Franceville where Senegal will become the first side to advance to the last eight if they beat Zimbabwe.
Algeria play Senegal in the other Group B game.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)