Date: January 25th, 2015
Venue: Estadio De Bata
Time: 20:00 (CAT)
Form Guide (Last Afcon Results): Gabon: WL
17 January 2015: Burkina Faso 0 – 2 Gabon
21 January 2015: Gabon 0 – 1 Congo-Brazzaville
Form Guide (Last Afcon Results): Equatorial Guinea: DD
17 January 2015: Equatorial Guinea 1 – 1 Congo-Brazzaville
21 January 2015: Equatorial Guinea 0 – 0 Burkina Faso
The Grand Stand Prediction
It’s the first game of the last round, a part of the tournament that has built a reputation around setting off an emotional rollercoaster amongst even neutral football fans. The last round represents a last chance at glory, and the difference between a win, a loss and even a draw is best defined in the final group fixtures.
For host nation Equatorial Guinea, who would have expected to do a lot better by this stage, this fixture represents a chance to show the home faithful just what the team is made of. Esteban Becker’s men have shown glimpses of brilliance in their first two fixtures, but even they will admit that better results could have been achieved. Coming into the game sitting third in the table, a positive result is necessary if the Nzalang Nacional are to stand a chance at knockout football, and with the tournament being held in their backyard, their elimination from the tournament at this stage would be met with wide-spread disappointment. They will be looking towards captain Emilio Nsue to inspire the attack, while hoping stopper Felipe Ovono will keep the Gabonese strike force out.
As the side having to chase the game, the Equatoguineans will be playing under a lot of pressure, be it self-inflicted or from the crowd, and it will be especially important for them to keep composed and level-headed throughout the game. It will be vital for them to score the first goal, for a boost in belief and team morale, but should Gabon take the lead, Esteban Becker’s boys will have to guard against getting overly emotional and turning the game into a brawl. Defensive organisation will be key for Equatorial Guinea; With Gabon boasting the attacking talents of skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Malick Evouna, expect significant pressure on Ovono’s goal.
Gabon come into this clash second on the table, just a solitary point clear of their opponents. Having recorded a well deserved 2-0 win in their opener against Burkina Faso, Jorge Costa would have hoped his troops would replicate that form against Congo and put themselves in a strong position coming into this game. But it wasn’t to be as Claude Le Roy masterminded a tactical orchestra to see Congo to a 1-0 win, a win that saw them climb to the top of Group A. So Gabon will come into this a wounded army, an army determined to correct the errors that saw them fall short against Congo, and secure a victory that will see them emerge as the winners of the group. Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will once again be a key player for the Panthers, and it will be interesting to see how he leads his side tonight. It should be a thrilling encounter at the Estadio de Bata, and for one of these sides, the last encounter.
GSV Scoreline Predictions: #GSVPredictor
@GSV_UncleBob: Gabon 2 – 2 Equatorial Guinea
@GSV_SportsMano: Gabon 1 – 2 Equatorial Guinea
@MaryGSV: Gabon 0 – 1 Equatorial Guinea