Hosts Gabon crashed out of the AFCON 2017, after a 0-0 draw with Cameroon that saw the Indomitable Lions and Burkina Faso advance to the quarters from Group A.
Burkina Faso beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the other match to top the group on goal difference with five points, same as Cameroon. The hosts drew all three games to finish third in the group, as Bissau trailed the group with a solitary point.
Gabon only had themselves to blame after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s awful early miss in Libreville while Denis Bouanga rattled the woodwork in stoppage time.
Gabon’s captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said: “Today we had everything to qualify, we had opportunities. Unfortunately there are days like this where things don’t work out, like my first chance two meters from the goal.”
“I am really sorry for the players, who are very disappointed, and for the fans who supported the team and who saw from the start that we came to win, but things didn’t work out well, we fired hit the post late in the game, and their goalkeeper too pulled out the big game on the last occasion,“said Spaniard José Antonio Camacho, Gabon’s coach.
This is the first time since 1994 that an AFCON host country has exited the tournament at the group stages.