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CAN round-up: Morocco pay the price for wastefulness

A brief round-up of the African Cup of Nations third matchday in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon

Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Jan 2012

Best player: Stephane Nguema (Gabon)

The Gabon striker proved to be his team’s deadliest weapon against Niger. Nguema ran down the right flank and crossed for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the far post to open the scoring in the 30thminute. The 27-year-old turned from provider to scorer when he swept a loose ball home for the second just before halftime after Aubameyang’s close-range header was saved by the Niger keeper.

Watch Nguema's assist and goal against Niger

Best goal: Youssef Msakni (Tunisia)

On 75 minutes, second-half substitute Youssef Msakni scored an amazing solo effort to put his team 2-0 up. The Esperance midfielder dribbled past defenders Ahmed Kantari and Badr El Kaddouri to slice the ball across the box and into Lamyaghri's far corner.

That was Msakni’s first goal for Tunisia and it proved to be crucial as Morocco pulled one back later through Houcine Kharjia in the 86thminute.

Watch Youssef Msakni's goal against Morocco

Technical overview

Co-hosts Gabon made a brilliant start to their campaign, beating new boys Niger 2-0. However, the Panthers will have to defy the odds when they face Morocco and Tunisia in their next Group C games.

Tunisia's Carthage Eagles claimed a precious victory in their opener after defeating North African rivals Morocco 2-1. The Tunisians struggled throughout the 90 minutes but Khaled Korbi’s free kick deceived the keeper while substitute Youssed Msakni hit the Atlas Lions on the counter. Eric Gerets' men will be under huge pressure when they take on Gabon on Friday while Tunisia took a big step towards the quarters.

Catch of the day: Wasteful strikers

Morocco paid the price of squandering some easy chances against Tunisia. Arsenal’s out-of-favor striker Marouane Chamakh failed to beat the keeper on a one-on-one in the first half while Youssef Hadji shot wide with the goal at his mercy after brilliantly skipping past the last defender in what would have been a goal-of-the-tournament contender.

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