Fact box on Gabon


Fact box on African Nations Cup qualifiers Gabon.

Previous appearances in finals: (5) 1994, 1996, 2000, 2010, 2012

Best performance: Quarterfinalists in 1996 and 2012

Drawn in Group A with Burkina Faso, Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

Coach: Jorge Costa

Jorge Costa follows Portuguese compatriot Paulo Duarte into the Gabon job, taking over last July in his first national team job.

The 43-year-old's previous coaching experience was with Braga, Olhanense and Academica in Portugal and also in Romania and Cyprus.

As a tough tackling defender Costa won 50 caps for Portugal and was a fan favourite at FC Porto.

He also had a brief spell towards the end of his career with Charlton Athletic in the English Premier League.

Key player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Age: 25. Forward.

French-born, with a Spanish mother, raised in Italy but chose to play for the country of his father, who captained Gabon when they made their maiden Nations Cup finals appearance two decades ago.

One of the three finalists for the 2014 African Footballer of the Year award after impressive first season in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund.

Brings incredible pace to his attacking game. Owes Gabon after he botched the decisive kick in the penalty shootout that saw the 2012 co-hosts eliminated by Mali in the quarter-finals.

Fifa world ranking Jan. 2015: 62

How they qualified: Top place in Group C, ahead of Burkina Faso, Angola and Lesotho.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Stephane Bitseki (CF Mounana), Anthony Mfa Mezui (Metz), Didier Ovono (Oostende)

Defenders: Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City), Yroundu Musavu-King (Caen), Henri Ndong (AJ Auxerre), Johann Obiang (Chateauroux), Aaron Ondele Appindangoye (CF Mounana), Junior Randal Oto'o Zue (Braga), Lloyd Palun (Nice), Benjamin Ze Ondo (Entente Setif)

Midfielders: Guelor Kanga Kaku (Rostov), Levy Madinda (Celta Vigo), Samson Mbingui (Mouloudia Alger), Didier Ndong (Lorient), Alexander Ndoumbou (Olympique de Marseille), Andre Poko (Girondins Bordeaux), Bonaventure Sokambi (CF Mounana)

Forwards: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Frederic Bulot (Charlton Athletic), Malick Evouna (Wydad Casablanca), Johan Lengoualama (Difaa El Jadida), Romaric Rogombe (AC Leopards).

Reuters

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