Gabon were knocked out of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after drawing 0-0 with Cameroon at the Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville on Sunday night.
The draw saw Cameroon finish behind Burkina Faso in second place in the Group A standings, while the tournament hosts exit the competition in position three. Guinea-Bissau prop up the table with one point from their allotted matches.
The Panthers should have taken the lead just four minutes into the game when Denis Bouanga’s attempted shot found his teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the back post.
However, somehow the Gabon captain, who plays for German side Borussia Dortmund, directed the ball wide of the far post from close range with Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa beaten.
The Indomitable Lions also had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the 14th minute, but Adolphe Teikeu, who is a defender by trade, headed the ball inches wide of the target.
Ondoa, who is based in Spain, was looking very shaky. The 21-year-old dropped a harmless cross in the 32nd minute, but fortunately for him, the match referee blew his whistle for a foul.
Nevertheless, the two sides were unable to break the deadlock before the match referee from South Africa, Daniel Bennett, blew the halftime whistle.
It should have been 1-0 to Cameroon five minutes after the restart, but Gabon goalkeeper Didier Ovono tipped defender Ambroise Onyongo’s effort onto the outside of the post.
Bouanga, who was having a good game for Gabon, opted to shoot from a free-kick two minutes after the hour-mark, but Ondoa was alert as the shot-stopper finger-tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Cameroon made their intentions clear when coach Hugo Broos introduced two strikers, Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi, in the late stages of the game as the Indomitable Lions searched for the winning goal.
However, the best chance fell to Gabon forward Bouanga, who hit the post in stoppage time and ultimately the match ended in a goalless draw.