Gabon national football team

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Gabon
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Les Panthères
(The Panthers)
Les Brésiliens
(The Brazilians)
Association Fédération Gabonaise de Football
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Sub-confederation UNIFFAC (Central Africa)
Head coach José Antonio Camacho
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Most caps Didier Ovono (101)
Top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (23)
Théodore Nzue Nguema (23)
Home stadium Stade Omar Bongo
FIFA code GAB
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 92 Decrease 13 (16 October 2017)
Highest 30 (July 2009)
Lowest 125 (April–May 2003)
Elo ranking
Current 99 (10 October 2017)
Highest 63 (November 1996)
Lowest 123 (June 2004)
First international
 Upper Volta 5–4 Gabon Gabon
(Madagascar; 13 April 1960)
Biggest win
Gabon Gabon 7–0 Benin 
(Libreville, Gabon; 2 April 1995)
Biggest defeat
 Cameroon 6–0 Gabon Gabon
(Abidjan, Ivory Coast; 26 December 1961)
 Morocco 6–0 Gabon Gabon
(Rabat, Morocco; 15 November 2006)
Africa Cup of Nations
Appearances 7 (first in 1994)
Best result Quarter-finals, 1996 and 2012

The Gabon national football team, nicknamed Les Panthères (The Panthers) or Les Brésiliens (The Brazilians), is the national team of Gabon and is controlled by the Fédération Gabonaise de Football. They have never qualified for the World Cup, but have qualified five times for the Africa Cup of Nations.[1]

History[edit]

1960s[edit]

Gabon made their debut on 13 April 1960 by entering the first Friendship Games (Jeux de L'Amitié) tournament, created for French-speaking African countries (a precursor to the modern African Games), held in Antananarivo, Madagascar. In the First Round they were drawn against Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), who were also making their debut, and lost 5–4, despite leading 3–2 at half-time.[2][3][4] They did not play another match for over a year and a half, until the next time the tournament was staged, in December 1961 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.[5] They were drawn in Pool 3 alongside Cameroon and Senegal. Gabon began the tournament with a 3–2 defeat to Senegal on Christmas Day, before being thrashed 6–0 by Cameroon on Boxing Day, finishing bottom of their group.[6] A few months after the tournament, the Gabonese Football Federation (Federation Gabonaise de Football) was formed to officially oversee the development of the national team and the domestic game.[7] The new association would not have to wait long for their first win, as in their very next match on 14 July 1962 they defeated the Congo 3–1 in their first match on home soil. They played 2 more matches in 1962, a 1–1 home draw with Cameroon on 20 August, a vast improvement over their previous meeting, and a 3–1 away defeat to the Congo on 16 September, before entering the third and final Friendship Games held in April 1963 in Dakar, Senegal.[8] They were drawn in Group C, along with British Gambia, the France amateur team, and Upper Volta. They opened on 12 April with a strong 4–0 win over Upper Volta, but were comfortably beaten 3–0 by the French amateurs 2 days later. They drew their final game 2–2 with British Gambia on 16 April and finished 2nd in the group, a marked improvement over their previous 2 appearances at the tournament; however only the group winners progressed and therefore Gabon were eliminated.[9] A few months later, Gabon entered qualification for the 1966 FIFA World Cup held in England. However, on 8 October 1964 they withdrew from the competition, along with all the other African entrants, in protest at FIFA's decision to only award 1 finals place to all of Africa, Asia and Oceania.[10][11]

As a result of this boycott, Gabon did not play another match for over two years until August 1965, when they hosted a friendly double-header against Nigeria, drawing 2–2 on 28 August and losing 4–1 the next day. At the 35th FIFA Congress held in London, England on 6 July 1966, Gabon were officially admitted as full members of FIFA.[12] They played their next match on 2 December 1966 when they suffered a 4–3 defeat against the Democratic Republic of the Congo, before playing them again on 4 January 1967 at home, this time winning 1–0. They played one more friendly, a 3–0 home defeat to the Ivory Coast on 28 March, before entering qualification for the 1968 Olympic football tournament, held in Mexico.[13] In the First Round, they were drawn against Guinea with whom they drew the first leg 0–0 at home on 18 June, before being routed in the second leg 6–1, on 9 July.[14] In 1967, they also became full members of CAF.[15] Following on from the Olympic qualifiers, Gabon did not play another match for over two years until they travelled to Dahomey (now Benin) on 24 August 1969 to play a friendly, which they lost 1–0.[16]

1970s[edit]

Gabon then did not play for over a year, before entering qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time. Their attempt to qualify for the 1972 tournament held in Cameroon fell at the first hurdle however, as they were drawn against Ivory Coast in the First Round. They lost the first leg at home 2–1 on 8 November 1970, and were defeated 1–0 away two weeks later.[17] Gabon then entered qualification for the 1972 Olympic football tournament held in West Germany. In the First Round they were drawn against Cameroon. Having lost the first leg 3–2 in Libreville on 30 May 1971, Gabon forfeited the tie as they did not travel to Yaoundé to contest the return leg.[18] Following this ignominious exit, Gabon entered qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup held in West Germany, and were due to play Cameroon in the First Round the Summer of 1972, however they withdrew before the matches could be played.[19] As a result of this withdrawal, they did not play another match for over a year until they entered the football tournament at the 1972 Central African Cup (a precursor to the Central African Games) held in Brazzaville, Congo. The 5-team round robin tournament included, alongside Gabon; Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Congo, and Chad. They played their first match on 16 July against the Congo, losing 3–0. Two days later they were defeated 3–1 by the Central African Republic and on 20 July they were soundly beaten by Cameroon, 4–0. However they salvaged some pride by beating Chad 1–0 in their final match on 22 July to avoid the bottom spot. Furthermore, this tournament doubled up as a qualification group for the 1973 All-Africa Games football tournament, and as Gabon did not win the group, they failed to qualify.[20] A year later they entered qualification for the 1974 African Cup of Nations held in Egypt, and were due to play the Central African Republic in the summer of 1973, however they once again withdrew before a ball was kicked.[21]

As a result, Gabon did not play a single match for almost 4 years until they thrashed São Tomé and Príncipe 6–1 at home in a friendly in May 1976, which was São Tomé and Príncipe's first international match.[22] A few weeks later Gabon hosted the inaugural Central African Games. In the football tournament, they were drawn into Group B alongside Burundi, Cameroon and Rwanda. They played their opening match on 28 June, registering a convincing 4-1 win over Burundi. Then, on 1 July they played out a 1-1 draw against Zaire who had travelled to Gabon to play each team in Group B in a friendly capacity, and had not entered the competition proper. On 5 July Gabon gained another impressive victory, beating Rwanda 3-0. In their final group game on 7 July they held neighbours Cameroon to creditable 0-0 draw, thus securing 2nd place (having only missed out on the top spot via goal difference) and qualification for the Semi-Finals. On 9 July they faced Group A winners the Congo, and were narrowly beaten 1-0. However, two days later they managed to clinch 3rd place with a 3-1 victory of the Central African Republic, to put the seal on an impressive performance in their own tournament.[23] A year later, Gabon entered qualification for the 1978 African Cup of Nations held in Ghana. After being given a bye in the First Round, they were drawn against the Congo in the Second. They lost the first leg away 3-2 on 17 July 1977, and drew the second at home 3-3 on 31 July, losing 6-5 on aggregate.[24] Later that year, they entered a qualification tournament for the football competition at the 1978 All-Africa Games held in Algiers, Algeria. The qualification tournament for their zone, which was held in Cameroon, consisted of 2 groups, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the Semi-Finals. In Gabon's group (B) were Burundi, the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. They beat Equatorial Guinea 2-0 in their opening match on Christmas Eve, defeated the Congo 1-0 on Boxing Day and beat Burundi 2-0 two days later. With 3 wins out of 3, they topped their group and faced Group A runners-up Chad in the Semi-Finals to whom they lost 3-1 on New Year's Eve, and therefore failed to qualify, as only the tournament winner went to the finals.[25] A few months later in February 1978, they hosted a friendly against Nigeria, which they lost 1-0. In January 1979 they registered a 2-2 away draw against Rwanda, before defeating Ivory Coast 2-1 at home in April.

2010s[edit]

In the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon upset Cameroon 1–0 and had a good chance of progressing to the quarter-finals after a scoreless draw against Tunisia. However, Gabon lost 2–1 to Zambia as it finished in its group with a three-way tie with Zambia and Cameroon. Gabon only scored twice in the group stage and were eliminated on the goals scored tiebreaker. In 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon co-hosted the tournament as it won their group matches: 2–0 against Niger, 3–2 against Morocco, and 1–0 against Tunisia. The second match saw Gabon qualify for its first quarter-final since 1996 in the most dramatic circumstances. Gabon had come back to lead 2–1 only for Morocco to tie the match in early stoppage time. However, on the final play of the game, Gabon scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time, from a direct free kick. Eventually, Gabon lost 5–4 in penalties (1–1 a.e.t) in the quarterfinal against Mali, after a penalty missed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who had scored three goals in the tournament.

Gabon began its 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign in the second round in Group E as it was drawn with Niger, Burkina Faso, and Congo. Despite opening its campaign with a scoreless draw against Niger, Gabon lost 3–0 due to having fielded ineligible player Charly Moussono. After four qualifiers, Gabon scored only one goal, but thanks to an Aubameyang hat-trick on June 15, 2013, Gabon stayed in contention for a play-off berth with a 4–1 victory over Niger. However, Burkina Faso eliminated Gabon in the final qualifier with the 1–0 result as Gabon finished third in its group.

For the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon has been drawn to qualify against Togo. Even though Daniel Cousin scored in each leg against Togo, Gabon missed out on the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as it lost 3–2 on aggregate. A year later, Gabon played six qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as it was drawn with Burkina Faso, Angola and Lesotho. Despite a stunning 1–1 result in Lesotho in qualifying, Gabon finished ahead of Burkina Faso to top the group as it qualified for the tournament with a game to spare in Angola. In January 2015, Gabon was drawn along with Burkina Faso, Congo and Equatorial Guinea. However, its 2–0 victory on the opening day of the tournament were all the points Gabon achieved during the tournament as it suffered a shocking exit in the group stage.

Honours[edit]

UNIFAC Cup :

  • Champions: 1999

UDEAC Championship :

  • Champions: 1985, 1988
  • Runner-up: 1989

CEMAC Cup :

  • Champions: 2013
  • Runner-up: 2007

Competition records[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

Africa Cup of Nations record[edit]

Host nation(s) / Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Sudan 1957 to
Sudan 1970
Did Not Enter
Cameroon 1972 Did Not Qualify
Egypt 1974 Withdrew
Ethiopia 1976 Did Not Enter
Ghana 1978 Did Not Qualify
Nigeria 1980 Did Not Enter
Libya 1982 Withdrew
Ivory Coast 1984 to
Senegal 1992
Did Not Qualify
Tunisia 1994 Group Stage 12th 2 0 0 2 0 4
South Africa 1996 Quarter-finals 7th 3 1 0 2 4 3
Burkina Faso 1998 Did Not Qualify
GhanaNigeria 2000 Group Stage 16th 3 0 1 2 2 6
Mali 2002 to
Ghana 2008
Did Not Qualify
Angola 2010 Group Stage 10th 3 1 1 1 2 2
GabonEquatorial Guinea 2012 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 1 0 7 3
South Africa 2013 Did Not Qualify
Equatorial Guinea 2015 Group Stage 12th 3 0 2 1 1 3
Gabon 2017 Group Stage 9th 3 0 3 0 2 2
Cameroon 2019 TBD
Ivory Coast 2021 TBD
Guinea 2023 TBD

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players have been selected for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Ivory Coast on 2 September and 5 September 2017

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Donald Nzé (1992-04-05) 5 April 1992 (age 25) 0 0 Gabon AS Pélican
1GK Laurhian Kantsouga (1988-04-03) 3 April 1988 (age 29) 4 0 Gabon AS Mangasport
1GK Yves Bitséki Moto (1983-04-23) 23 April 1983 (age 34) 20 1 Gabon CF Mounana

2DF Aaron Appindangoyé (1992-02-02) 2 February 1992 (age 25) 38 1 Turkey Ümraniyespor
2DF Franck Obambou (1987-06-26) 26 June 1987 (age 30) 6 1 Algeria Sétif
2DF Bruno Ecuele Manga (1988-07-16) 16 July 1988 (age 29) 67 7 Wales Cardiff City
2DF Johann Obiang (1993-07-05) 5 July 1993 (age 24) 22 0 France Troyes
2DF Lloyd Palun (1988-11-28) 28 November 1988 (age 28) 42 0 Belgium Cercle Brugge
2DF Henri Junior Ndong (1992-08-23) 23 August 1992 (age 25) 12 0 Georgia (country) Samtredia
2DF Yoann Wachter (1992-04-07) 7 April 1992 (age 25) 2 0 France Sedan
2DF Randal Oto'o (1994-05-23) 23 May 1994 (age 23) 12 0 Belgium KVC Westerlo
2DF Stevy Nzambe (1991-04-09) 9 April 1991 (age 26) 2 0 South Africa Real Kings
2DF Junior Assoumou (1995-07-22) 22 July 1995 (age 22) 3 0 France Romorantin

3MF Merlin Tandjigora (1990-04-06) 6 April 1990 (age 27) 26 1 Portugal Belenenses
3MF Mario Lemina (1993-09-01) 1 September 1993 (age 24) 9 2 England Southampton
3MF Lévy Madinda (1992-06-11) 11 June 1992 (age 25) 44 5 Greece Asteras Tripoli F.C.
3MF Guélor Kanga (1990-09-01) 1 September 1990 (age 27) 33 2 Serbia Red Star Belgrade
3MF Samson Mbingui (1992-02-09) 9 February 1992 (age 25) 28 3 Morocco Raja Casablanca
3MF Louis Ameka Autchanga (1996-09-03) 3 September 1996 (age 21) 1 0 Gabon CF Mounana
3MF Denis Bouanga (1994-11-11) 11 November 1994 (age 22) 3 0 France Lorient
3MF Didier N'Dong (1994-06-17) 17 June 1994 (age 23) 25 0 England Sunderland

4FW Malick Evouna (1992-11-28) 28 November 1992 (age 24) 30 12 Turkey Konyaspor
4FW Axel Méyé (1995-06-06) 6 June 1995 (age 22) 7 0 Turkey Manisaspor
4FW Aaron Boupendza (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 21) 1 0 France Pau

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for Gabon in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Yrondu Musavu-King (1992-01-08) 8 January 1992 (age 25) 9 0 France Toulouse v.  Morocco, 8 October 2016
DF Ulysse Ndong (1992-11-24) 24 November 1992 (age 24) 4 0 Bulgaria Slavia Sofia v.  Mali, 10 June 2017
DF Henri Junior Ndong (1992-08-23) 23 August 1992 (age 25) 12 0 Lithuania Sūduva Marijampolė v.  Ivory Coast, 4 June 2016

MF Franck Engonga (1993-07-26) 26 July 1993 (age 24) 13 0 Egypt Tala'ea El-Gaish v.  Morocco, 8 October 2016

FW Romaric Rogombé (1990-11-25) 25 November 1990 (age 26) 0 0 Republic of the Congo AC Léopards v.  Morocco, 8 October 2016
FW Johann Lengoualama (1992-09-29) 29 September 1992 (age 25) 18 1 Morocco Raja Casablanca v.  Cameroon, 6 September 2016
FW Frédéric Bulot (1990-09-27) 27 September 1990 (age 27) 18 0 France Reims v.  Ivory Coast, 4 June 2016
FW Gaëtan Missi Mezu (1996-05-04) 4 May 1996 (age 21) 0 0 France Paris v.  Ivory Coast, 4 June 2016
Notes

DEC Player declined the call-up to the national team

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

  Win   Draw   Lose

Records[edit]

As of 31 June 2017
Players in bold text are still active with Benin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2. "Gabon make an impact by Firdose Moonda". Espn Fc. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 
  2. ^ "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Jeux Sportifs de la Communauté Française 1960 (Tananarive, Madagascar)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Burkina Faso matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Jeux de l'Amitié 1961 (Abidjan, Ivory Coast)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Member Association - Gabon". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Jeux de l'Amitié 1963 (Dakar, Senegal)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "World Cup 1966 Qualifying". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "How Africa Boycotted the 1966 World Cup". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Member Association - Gabon". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  13. ^ "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "Games of the XIX. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament (Mexico City, Mexico, 1968)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Member Association - Gabon". www.cafonline.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Gabon matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Games of the XX. Olympiad Football Qualifying Tournament (Munchen, Germany, 1972)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "World Cup Qualifying 1974". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "African Games 1973". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "African nations Cup 1974". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Sao Tome matches". www.eloratings.net. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  23. ^ "Jeux d'Afrique Centrale 1976 (Gabon, June 28-July 11)". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  24. ^ "African Nations Cup 1978". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  25. ^ "African Games 1978". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  26. ^ a b Mamrud, Roberto. "Gabon – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 15 October 2017. 

External links[edit]