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AFCON Profile: Gabon

Last Updated: 18/01/12 10:25am

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Gabon earned automatic entry to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations as co-hosts of the tournament alongside Equatorial Guinea.

Gabon earned automatic entry to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations as co-hosts of the tournament alongside Equatorial Guinea.

Gabon earned automatic entry to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations as co-hosts of the tournament alongside Equatorial Guinea.

The Gabon national football team is known as The Panthers and made its debut against Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) in 1960 at the L'Amitié tournament for French-speaking countries. They lost the game 5-4.

In 1967, Gabon missed out on qualification for the 1968 Summer Olympics. The Panthers faced Guinea in a qualifier over two legs, which they lost 6-1 on aggregate.

PREVIOUS AFCON INVOLVEMENTS:

Gabon's first AFCON qualifier was against Ivory Coast in 1970. The sides were battling it out for a spot at the 1972 tournament held in Ethiopia.

The Panthers lost both legs, 2-1 and 1-0 at home and away respectively.

Gabon's best performance at the AFCON was a quarter-final appearance in 1996 after topping Group C ahead of Zaire and Liberia. In the quarter-finals, The Panthers lost 4-1 on penalties to Tunisia after extra time could not separate the two teams.

Gabon will be taking part in their fifth AFCON. Their previous appearances were in 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2010.

SQUAD OVERVIEW:

Unlike the majority of the teams involved at the AFCON, almost half (11) of the players in the Gabon's squad play their football in their native country.

Yann Bidonga, Edmond Mouele and Cédric Boussougou are team-mates at Mangasport and Yves Bitséki, Rémy Ebanega, Henri Ndong and Cédric Moubamba are on the books of Betim.

Georges Ambourouet (Missile), Charly Moussono (Missile) and Daniel Cousin (Sapins) also ply their trade at home.

Meanwhile, eight of the squad members are employed in France, where they represent Le Mans, Lorient, Brest, Nice, Bordeaux, Saint Etienne and Laval.

ONE TO WATCH:

Eric Mouloungui could play a key role in Gabon's campaign. The Nice midfielder has a penchant for shooting on sight and from long range. His attacking mentality is not surprising considering he started his career as a striker.

Mouloungui spent most of his career at RC Strasbourg, where he amassed over 100 caps for the French outfit between 2003 and 2007.

FACTS

FIFA Rank: 77

Coach: Gernot Rohr

Captain: Daniel Cousin

Nickname: Les Panthères (The Panthers)

Best AFCON finish: Quarter-finals (1996)

Previous AFCON finish: Round One (2010)

FULL SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Didier Ovono, Yann Bidonga, Stéphan Bitséki Moto

Defenders: Rémy Ebanega, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Rodrigue Moundounga, Charly Moussono, Georges Ambourouet, Moïse Brou Apanga, Henri Junior Ndong, Edmond Mouele

Midfielders: Lloyd Palun, Bruno Mbanangoyé Zita, Lévy Madinda, André Biyogo Poko, Cédric Moubamba, Cedric Boussoughou

Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Daniel Cousin, Stéphane N'Guéma, Eric Mouloungui, Fabrice Do Marcolino, Roguy Méyé

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