CHAN 2014: Gabon, Burundi in dull draw

Gabon and Burundi

Gabon and Burundi

Gabon and Burundi have played to a 0-0 draw in their opening 2014 African Nations Championship Group D encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday night.

In a fixture that never reached any great heights, it was the Gabonese who had the better of the opportunities and will believe they probably should have come away with all three points.

Burundi looked to tackle them on the counter-attack, but in the latter stages put all 11 behind the ball as they played out what they will feel is a valuable point.

Gabon had veteran striker Daniel Cousin in their line-up, one of the more experienced players in the competition who has played in the top-flights in England and France.

They tried to channel much of their play through him, and it was he who had arguably the game’s best chance late in the first half.

Cousin was put through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but Burundi stopper Arthur Arakaza did well to close the space between them quickly and made an excellent block.

Franck Engonga also saw his goal-bound header cleared off the line with Arakaza this time beaten, while late on Samson Mbingui had the ball in the back of the net but he was rightfully ruled offside.

That was about as good as it got, with little for the enthusiastic crowd to get excited about as the teams ultimately cancelled each other out.

Next up for Gabon is a meeting with DR Congo on Saturday evening, while after that Burundi tackle Mauritania. DR Congo beat Mauritania 1-0 in the earlier game today.

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