Prince Oniangue was the hero for Congo as the Red Devils shocked Gabon in Bata to leapfrog their opponents and go top of Group A.
Congo captain Oniangue pounced less than three minutes into the second half to steer a bouncing ball into the bottom corner as the Gabon defence was caught napping.
Gabon had started the evening at the group’s summit and were looking for the victory that would have secured their passage into the last eight. However, while they dominated possession throughout the Panthers struggled to create chances, with their best spell coming at the end of the first half as Levy Midanda volleyed wide.
Following Oniangue’s intervention early in the second half, Congo almost went two goals ahead but Didier Ovono saved well from Arnold Bouka Moutou.
Ferebory Dore should have cut the deficit but side-footed wide with the goal gaping and after that Gabon’s attempts to get back into the game became more and more desperate as star striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, was left increasingly isolated.
19’ – CHANCE FOR GABON – The men in yellow click into gear as Madinda feeds Evouna, whose shot deflects off keeper Mafoumbi before hitting defender Dimitri Bissiki and trickling just past the post. To compound Gabon’s frustration, referee Victor Gomes gives a goal kick.
41’ – BIFOUMA GIVES CONGO A SCARE – The big Almeria striker falls to the floor clutching his knee, and is forced off the field on a stretcher. He returns to the pitch before half-time though.
42’ – CHANCE FOR GABON – Madinda does brilliantly to flick over one defender and head past another before volleying wide of the far post.
48’ – GOAL FOR CONGO – Moutou finally produces a decent delivery from a corner and as the ball bounces around the Gabon penalty area, Oniangue fires into the empty net. Awful defending.
54' – CONGO ALMOST MAKE IT TWO – Ovono has to punch clear as Moutou rifles a shot goalwards from the edge of the area.
68' – BIG CHANCE FOR GABON – Bulot really should equalise as the ball squirms across the area after Mafoumbi races from his goal to smother an Evouna attempt. However, Gabon's No10 contrives to side-foot wide.
78' – GABON CRANK UP THE PRESSURE – Bulot drives down the left but his cross, and then Aubameyang's from the right are both to high for Evouna.