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Gabon-Tunisia match ends in 0-0 draw

Gabon took a big step towards reaching the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations here when they drew 0-0 with Tunisia in a Group B match on Sunday.

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AFP -  Gabon took a big step towards reaching the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations here when they drew 0-0 with Tunisia in a Group B match here on Sunday.

The draw consolidated Gabon's lead in Group D after they shocked four-time champions Cameroon 1-0 in their opening match.

Tunisia, champions in 2004, are now in danger of failing to reach the quarter-finals as they are second with two points from as many matches.

Cameroon and Zambia will play at the same venue later on Sunday.

The Azingo of Gabon were the better team but failed to put away the several chances they created and they must have felt a little hard done by when a penalty appeal in their favour was not given by referee Coffi Codjia after skipper Daniel Cousin appeared to have been brought down inside the box a minute from normal time.

Both teams got off to a bright start with Cousin in the thick of the action from the onset.

First in the ninth minute, the Hull City striker almost played in youngster Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only for Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi to beat him to the ball and two minutes later, Cousin fired a free kick from distance which only just missed.

Tunisia, though, did not sit back and also pushed forward, knowing they need to win this match to remain in contention for a place in the last eight after they drew 1-1 with Zambia in their opening group game.

In the 17th minute, Lens striker Issam Jomaa shot at the Gabonese goal flew wide even though goalkeeper Ebang Ovono appeared to have covered his post well.

Gabon ought to have taken the lead through Eric Mouloungui in the 20th minute but he failed to direct his free header on target.

However, the best chance of the first 45 minutes fell to the Carthage Eagles when in the 28th minute a faulty pass by a Gabon defender put Amine Chermiti through on goal only for the Tunisian to be brought down on the edge of the box for a free kick which Jomaa blazed wide.

 In the 63rd minute, the Tunisian goalkeeper again denied Gabon the opening goal when he parried to safety a powerful Mouloungui shot from outside the area.

Both teams continued to go in search of a goal. Poor ball control let down Emerick Aubameyang on 75 minutes after Cousin floated a cross deep from the left flank and the youngster was all alone with the Tunisian goalkeeper at his mercy.
  

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