Jan 17, 2015 at 7pm UK
Burkina Faso
FT(HT: 0-1)
Aubameyang (19'), Evouna (72')
Ndong (40'), Bulot (53'), Obiang (77')

Live Commentary: Burkina Faso vs. Gabon - as it happened

Join Sports Mole's live commentary of Gabon's opening-day clash with Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Goals in both halves from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malick Evouna helped Gabon to a 2-0 win over Burkina Faso in their first game of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Borussia Dortmund hitman Aubameyang fired his nation ahead after just 19 minutes in a first half that Burkina Faso dominated but failed to score.

It was far more evenly contested after the break and Jorge Costa's side doubled their lead on 72 minutes after Evouna headed home a second as Gabon move top of Group A.

Below, you can relive all of the action with Sports Mole's live commentary.

6.32pmAh, good evening and you're very welcome to our live text commentary of Gabon's clash with Burkina Faso on day one of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

6.35pmIt's the second game in Group A following Equatorial Guinea's 1-1 draw with DR Congo earlier. I'm Shane and I'll be keeping you apprised with everything that happens inside the Bata Stadium tonight. Well, as far as on-the-pitch stuff goes anyway; if a mascot trips over a television cable, or if a fan drops their drum then I can't help you there.

6.38pmAnywho, let's get rough, rugged and raw with a bit of team news, shall we? Okay, but first let's listen to a bit of Toto to get us in the mood to celebrate all things Africa.

6.40pmBURKINA FASO XI: Sanou; Yogo, Kone, Koffi, Kone, Pitriopa, Bambara, Kabore, Traore, Zongo, Traore

6.42pm GABON XI: Ovono; Palun, Musavu-King, Ecuele Managa, Obiang, Biyogo Poko, Madinda, Ndong, Bulot, Aubameyang, Evouna

6.45pmHe's not quite Daz, or Heinz, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is about as much of a household name as we're going to see tonight. The Dortmund hitman has netted five times in 15 starts for the struggling Bundesliga side this term, but he is, and can be, lethal. He's also got 14 goals in 38 games for the Gabonese, so he's someone to look out for this evening.

6.48pmAnd who can the Burkinabe look to for a bit of inspiration? Jonathan Pitriopa perhaps. He spearheads his nations attack tonight and has netted 14 times in 51 international appearances. They've also got a few big names in the form of Lyon defender Bakary Kone and Djakaridja Kone of Evian - the club, not the water.

6.50pmThankfully, it seems there's an anti-vuvuzela policy in Equatorial Guinea for this edition of the tournament.

6.53pmGabon have the bigger players, but Burkina Faso have the pedigree. They reached the final of the competition in 2013 before losing to Nigeria, and they'll want to improve on that runners-up place of last time by getting this campaign off to a good start. Incidentally, Gabon haven't won their opening game in NINE attempts, so a decent omen for the Burkinabe then!

6.54pmRight, both sets of players are out on the field as we prepare for the national anthems. Interestingly, both nations' teams are made up of mainly foreigners so quite a few won't even bother pretending to know the words.

6.58pmAs mentioned in the intro, both these sides should be fairly familiar with each other, having faced off twice as early as October for the qualifiers. Gabon won the first game 2-0, with Aubameyang bagging a brace, while nothing could separate the teams in the reverse fixture four days later as they played out a 1-1 draw, with Malick Evouna earning a point for Gabon after star man Pitropia opened the scoring. The first game between Equatorial Guinea and Congo ended up 1-1 so let's see if this one breeds a win.


1 minKICKOFF: Aaaaaaaaaaand we're off. The second game in the AFCON is underway as Gabon, playing in yellow and from right to left, kick us off. Let's go.

3 minWe've seen our first sight at Pitroipa and he looks a player so far; some really slick skills early on and, apparently, he's bullet quick so we'll see how he does.

5 minAlan Hanson would love this! Burkina Faso, somehow, find themselves attacking in a five-on-two situation within the opening five minutes! It comes to nothing in the end after Alain Traore's final ball let him down, but some early signs that Gabon are susceptible tactically.

7 minDjakaridja Koné looks a player so far aswell. The Burkinabe midfielder is about 6'4 and he's just scythed down Madinda in the middle of the park, but won the ball cleanly.

9 minNot much atmosphere from the crowds so far it has to be said. You couldn't hear a pin drop, because there is the feint noise of a drum somewhere, but it's not quite as partisan as you'd have imagined for an opening-day fixture.

10 minSHOT!!! We've seen our first shot, and it's Burkina Faso unsurprisingly, but it's a shocker as Bertrand Traore drags his shot well wide from outside the box.

11 minGood defending from Koffi, who gets across really well to snuff out the danger as Ndong looked to race through on goal in Gabon's first meaningful attack thus far.

13 minWHAT A HIT!!! It's not a goal, but it's a stunning volley as Bertrand Traore, who had that shocking shot a moment ago, makes amends with a fine effort, but it's at a comfortable height for Gabon keeper Ovono.

15 minCHANCE! Burkina Faso are bossing this one, my friends. Alain Traore shows rapid pace to reach a nothing ball down the left-hand side, and his first-time cross is met Pitroipa, who knocks it back to Bertrand Traore as he looks certain to score, but Ecuele comes out of nowhere with a brilliant challenge to avert the danger.

16 minWe spoke about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prior to kickoff, and he hasn't been great so far. He has started on the right wing and, despite seeing plenty of the ball, he hasn't had much of an impact as of yet.

19 minGOAL!!!!!!!! BURKINA FASO 0-1 GABON (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang)

20 minThis is brilliant from Aubameyang, who misses an initial one-on-one with Sanou, but he shows fantastic composure when Burkinabe defenders retreat to the line, and he just curls into the top corner. Super recovery after the first miss. Shoutout to Poko, who played the initial ball.

22 minAs strange as it may sound, that goal will not worry Burkina Faso too much. They've absolutely dominated the first 20 minutes and they will most certainly create chances. The Gabon keeper Ovono looks a major liability, too. He came haring out of his goal before the opener in a chance that ultimately petered out for Burkina Faso.

24 minGabon right-back Palun concedes a silly foul now and Bertrand Traore will whip this one into the area. They've got a bit of height so this one might be productive for them...

26 minIt's a fantastic delivery but it comes to nothing as Poko averts the danger. It's a really good game so far actually. Here's to hoping it continues throughout the tournament because we've got every single game for you.

28 minIt's also an incredible physical encounter so far. The referee might just be using one of his cards quite a few times throughout the evening, with Djakaridja Kone, in particular, a monster of a man who is certain to get booked.

30 minCHANCE!!! This is super play from Burkina Faso, but it should be 1-1. It's one-touch passing and Traore squares to Pitroipa to finish off the move, but he side-foots it straight Ovono. Big chance.

32 minCLOSE! This is really, really close from Ndong, who continues his run into the box and fires Aubameyang's cut-back pass just wide of the mark. Good effort from the youngster but the execution left a bit to be desired.

34 minPENALTY APPEAL: This looked a stick-on penalty for Burkina Faso. Zongo shows incredible pace to reach Bambara's ball, and Ecuele literally pushes him forward, causing him to lose his balance. It was a penalty. Simple as. Poor decision from the referee.

37 minIt's petered out a little in recent minutes, though Burkina Faso are still well on top. Lord knows how they haven't scored yet because they've been bossing this since the first minute.

40 minFive minutes until the break now and it looks like Gabon might hang on to this 1-0 lead, unless Burkina Faso can take one of these chances.

43 minSAVE! Ovono, who doesn't inspire a lot of confidence, spills a routine shot from Bertrand Traore and Pitroipa trods on his hand as he looks to capitalise on the fumble. I'm an Arsenal fan so best believe I've seen my fair share of poor goalkeepers down the years, but this bloke is something else.


7.50pmThat was a very decent first half I have to say. Gabon, who have been easily second best, boast the only stat that matters at the break after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired them into a 19th-minute lead.

7.52pmBurkina Faso simply have to score, though. They've had so much possession, and so many chances, that it's impossible to think that there's not at least one goal in this for them.

7.53pmIf I'm Burkina Faso boss Paul Put then I'm telling my troops to shoot on sight because Gabon keeper Didier Ovono makes Simon Mignolet look like Manuel Neuer. Between fumbling routine shots and coming out of his box for no reason, Sanou has looked a major liability thus far and Put's side must capitalise on his deficiencies.

7.55pmProblem is, though, Burkina Faso's defence has looked suspect at times and there's easily more goals in this one for Gabon, too. The opener came about when Poko played a defence-splitting ball to find Aubameyang, but it was only "defence-splitting" because you could park a 747 between both of their centre-halves.

7.57pmTheir attack has looked brilliant, though. Bertrand and Alain Traore, coupled with Jonathan Pitroipa, gave Gabon's back four all sorts of problems throughout that first half and they all had clear-cut chances to chance. Pitroipa, in particular, has missed a hat-full of opportunities. We spoke about him prior to kickoff and, while he does look a fine player overall, his finishing leaves a little to be desired unfortunately.

45 minRESTART! Aaaaaaaaand we're back underway at the Bata Stadium. Burkina Faso, playing from right to left, get us underway and if the second half is anything like the first then we're in for a treat.

47 minBurkina Faso boss Paul Put must be tuning into our text commentary because his troops have indeed adopted a shoot-on-sight policy, with Put's side having two shots - two shockers - already in this half.

49 minThis is a bad challenge, as Bulot Wagha sinks his studs into the ankle of Burkina Faso left-back Bambara. No yellow card believe it or not. The referee isn't having a great game it has to be said.

52 minIt appears as if Gabon striker Malick Evouna does not actually know the offside rule. The forward is comfortably around 14 yards offside as Aubameyang bursts down the right-hand flank in a swift counter, but he can't square to his teammate as the play breaks up. Absolutely bizarre position to take up.

55 minBurkina Faso marginally on top, but they lack the cutting edge up front that they had in the first half so far, with the two Traores and Pitroipa not as telepathic as they perhaps were prior to the break. Still, with that keeper, lord knows.

57 minSuperb play from Bertrand Traore, who makes a mug of Palun right at the corner flag, but his ball for Pitropia is cut out by goalkeeper Ovono.

59 minChelsea fans will love what they're seeing from Bertrand Traore, who at 19, looks a fine prospect. He's on loan with Dutch side Vitesse this season, but if Jose Mourinho is watching then he might just wonder about bringing him back next season. He's been excellent.

61 minAubameyang, who is said to be quicker than Usain Bolt over 100 yards, flashes his pace for the first time as he knocks a ball about 50 yards ahead of him and engages Koffi in a foot race, but his touch is a bit too heavy and it allows goalkeeper Sanou to break up the attack. He's extraordinarily quick, though.

62 minCLOSE! Fine free kick from Alain Traore, but it's narrowly over the bar and the Lorient striker has his head in his hands.

63 minSUB: Gabon boss Jorge Costa makes the game's first substitution as Ndong makes way for Kanga.

64 minCHANCE!!! Oh my word it should be 2-0, and Kanga has an immediate impact as he floats a delightful ball for Bulot, who nipped in behind Bambara but, with just Sanou to beat, he fires straight at the keeper. Shocking finish.

65 minCHANCE!!! And Burkina Faso go straight up the other end and it should be 1-1! What a brilliant last few moments. Bertrand Traore makes a mug of Palun, which allows him to go one-on-one with the derided Ovono, but the Gabon keeper makes a brilliant stop with his trailing leg to maintain his nation's lead. This is a fantastic game.

67 minSUB: Burkina Faso make their first change now as the brilliantly-named Aristide Bance comes on, but I did not see for who it was. I'll keep you posted.

68 minCLOSE! Great play from Aubameyang, who gallops down the right-hand side before cutting inside Koffi on to his stronger foot, and he looks to bend it around Sanou for his brace, but it's agonisingly wide. Fine effort.

70 minOne of the recurring themes in this match is some truly shocking passing. So many of the passes have been over-hit, which might explain why so many of them are lightning quick - because they have to be! Some of them were as slow as me after a McDonalds until they started training with their countries.

72 minGOAL!!!!! BURKINA FASO 0-2 GABON (Malick Evouna)

73 minWhat a header this is! Bulot Wagha does brilliantly, producing a couple of step-overs to deceive Bambara before standing a ball up for Evouna, who leaps like a salmon to connect with it and guide it past Sanou. Brilliant, and it could be the goal that settles this.

75 minBOOKING: Obiang goes into the book for fouling Bertrand Traore as Burkina Faso win a free kick just outside the box. Is this the foundation of a comeback then? Let's see.

77 minIt's Alain Traore, who generates lots of power to sting the hands of Ovono, who fumbles it but speedily recovers. I must admit; he's proven me wrong after caning him during half time. He's had a really good second half this Gabon keeper.

80 minWe're into the final 10 minutes then and unless Burkina Faso can score twice then Gabon are heading for their first-ever opening-game victory at the Africa Cup of Nations!

82 minCLOSE! Aristide Bance. The legend of Bagger Bance. Bance Armstrong. Whatever you want to call him - he has been on for about 10 minutes but this is the first glimpse at goal he has seen, and it's not even a chance as the big forward takes aim from around 30 yards, at an angle, but his shot still whistles past the post. Not far away at all.

85 minFive minutes of normal time left and it looks like Paul Put's side are going to end up rueing those missed opportunities throughout a one-sided first half.

87 minBurkina Faso drew two of their three group games in the 2013 edition of the competition and still managed to progress, so defeat here, although disheartening, does not rule them out of the tournament of course - especially with Equatorial Guinea and Congo drawing earlier on.

89 minCLOSE! Brilliant from Bertrand Traore again but his curling effort just whistles past Ovono's post. He's done really well, but one criticism of him is certainly his finishing. Still, he's only 19 so plenty of time to improve on that.



8.53pmWell, that's it. The beaten finalists from 2013 have a job to do before they can put things right this year as they lose their opening game 2-0 to Gabon. Goals from Aubameyang and Evouna helped beat Burkina Faso, who dominated the first half but that second goal took the wind of their sails big time.

8.54pmAnyway, thanks for joining Sports Mole's live text commentary - and come back because we've got coverage of every single AFCON game. Yep. Enjoy your weekend folks.

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Gabon's forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2015 African Cup of Nations group A football match between Burkina Faso and Gabon at Bata Stadium in Bata on January 17, 2015
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