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AFCON: Mighty Gabon defend position after draw with Ghana

AFCON: Mighty Gabon defend position after draw with Ghana
Ghana's Jordan Ayew, left, is challenged by Gabon's Andre Biyogo Poko, during the African Cup of Nations 2022 group C soccer match   -  
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AP Photo

AFCON 2021

Gabon equalized against the Balck stars of Ghana in a very dramatic game that ended in a red card on a Ghanaian player.

Gabon are four points, second in Group C after Morocco with 6 points. Ghana are third with 1 point.

Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was diagnosed with heart lesions after recovering from COVID-19 at the African Cup of Nations, ruling him out of their game against Ghana

Aubameyang tested positive at an airport on arrival in Cameroon last week and was put into isolation. He missed Gabon's first game, a 1-0 win over Comoros.

Morocco qualified for the knockout stages at the African Cup of Nations with a 2-0 win over debutant Comoros on Friday, joining host Cameroon as the first two teams through.

Morocco's goals came from Selim Amallah early in the first half and substitute Zakaria Aboukhlal a minute before the end of the game, ensuring one of the most impressive teams in qualifying will be in the last 16 in Cameroon.

Aboukhlal's goal was vindication for him after he won a penalty for Morocco in the 81st only to see Youssef En-Nesyri's effort saved from the spot.

Morocco has two wins from two to lead Group C ahead of Friday's late game between Gabon and Ghana. Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to return for Gabon after testing positive for the coronavirus at an airport on arrival in Cameroon and missing the win over Comoros.

Senegal's struggle to get going continued as it was held by Guinea to 0-0 in Group B, although the result left both teams in good shape to qualify.

The battle of Liverpool stars Sadio Mané of Senegal and Naby Keita of Guinea never really materialized at Kouekong Stadium in Cameroon's western city of Bafoussam.

Keita did get yellow-carded for a foul on Mané, though.

Mané set up a good chance for Senegal with an attacking run that opened the way for Bouna Sarr to cut inside a defender and have a clear sight at goal. He pulled his shot wide.

Senegal opened its tournament with a very late 1-0 win over Zimbabwe, with Mané converting a penalty in the 97th minute. Guinea beat Malawi 1-0 in its first group game.

It leaves Senegal and Guinea level on four points at the top of the group.

Malawi beat Zimbabwe 2-1 later Friday, coming from 1-0 down with a brace by Gabadinho Mhango. Malawi is playing in its first African Cup since 2010 and only its third ever, and gave itself a chance of reaching the second round.

The top two teams in each of the six groups qualify automatically for the round of 16 as well as the four best third-place teams.