Gabon’s forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Gabon and Guinea-Bissau at the Stade de l’Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on January 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and hosts Gabon vowed to put a poor start to their Africa Cup of Nations behind them and beat Burkina Faso today in the second series of Group A matches.
A “Panthers” team captained by the Borussia Dortmund star striker conceded a last-minute goal to only draw 1-1 with minnows Guinea-Bissau in the tournament opener.
Former African Footballer of the Year Aubameyang put the home team ahead with a tap-in only for Juary Soares to nod the leveller off a free-kick.
With four-time champions Cameroun held 1-1 by Burkina Faso later last Saturday, every team has one point and identical goal records going into the second round of group games.
Gabon and Burkina Faso clash at 5:00 pm local time (1600 GMT) in the 40 000-seat Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville followed by Cameroun against Guinea-Bissau three hours later.
Aubameyang knows he and his teammates let supporters of the central African team down and has promised a better performance against opponents they beat 2-0 at the same stage two years ago.
“We have learnt from our mistakes,” said the 27-year-old born in France to a Gabonese father and a Spanish mother, making him eligible to represent three nations.
He opted for Gabon, a country once captained by his father, who have never gone further than the quarterfinals at the Cup of Nations.
“I remain positive that we can reach our first goal, which is qualifying for the knockout phase,” said the leading Bundesliga scorer this season with 16 goals from 15 matches.
“We have lofty ambitions in this tournament and playing at home in front of our wonderful supporters is a great advantage.
“Mistakes were made against Guinea-Bissau, like conceding a goal in the final minute. We must now rectify those errors and defeat Burkina Faso.”
The Burkinabe, whose best showing was finishing runners-up to 2013 champions Nigeria, fell behind to Cameroun and survived an onslaught before levelling.
Centre-back Bakary Kone, midfielder and captain Charles Kabore and winger Jonathan Pitroipa form an experienced backbone to an unpredictable side.
“No one gave us a chance against Gabon and we could have ended up winning that match.”
• Culled from supersport.com