CAN round-up: Gabon spring new surprise as Morocco crash out

Ahram Online, Saturday 28 Jan 2012

Follow Ahram Online's selection of the best goal, player and catch of the day in addition to a brief overview of the African Cup of Nations seventh matchday


Best player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)

The 22-year-old striker unsettled Morocco’s defence with his darting runs down the right flank throughout the game, outclassing Celtic right-back Badr El Kaddouri. He volleyed home the equalizer with a right-foot strike in the 77thminute. Two minutes later, he dribbled past El-Kaddouri on the flank and pulled the ball back to Daniel Cousin to put his team 2-1 up.  The lively Gabon striker proved to be one of the best players in the tournament so far.

Watch Gabon vs Morocco goals

Best goal: Youssef Msakni (Tunisia)

Tunisia's left winger Youssef Msakni repaid the faith of his coach Sami Trabelsi who gave him a starting role against Niger. The Esperance ace, who came off the bench to score a sublime goal against Morocco in the group’s opener, skipped past four defenders and shot past keeper Daouda Kassaly to put his team ahead after three minutes.

Watch Youssef Msakni’s goal against Niger


Brief overview

Emerging the winners once again despite not being the dominant side on the pitch, Tunisia secured passage to the quarter finals after beating Niger 2-1. Youssef Msakni and second-half substitute Issem Jemaa made the most of the very few chances the Carthage Eagle created while Niger players and their star striker Moussa Maazou squandered numerous clear-cut chances that would have given them an easy and comfortable win.

Group favorites and one of the title contenders, Morocco, suffered a shock exit after slumping to their second consecutive defeat, losing 3-2 to Gabon. Players like Youssef Hadji, Younes Belhanda, Adel Taarabt and Mehdi Benatia were only shadows of themselves as their unfancied opponents continued their impressive start to the tournament in their first ever appearance among Africa's elites.

Catch of the day: Tunisia keeper distracted by Maazou’s slap

Niger made the score 1-1 against Tunisia when a long clearance into the Tunisia penalty area dropped with awkward back spin, fooling keeper Aymen Mathlouthi who was distracted by an attempt from Moussa Maazou to slap the ball, which bounced on to the head of William Tonji Ngounou and into an empty net.

Watch Niger’s goal against Tunisia

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