Last Updated: 23/01/12 5:55pm
The game comes to an end and co-hosts Gabon kick off their AFCON campaign with a victory. Niger were outplayed in every aspect of the game today. Comfortable win for the Panthers.
Gabon come close to extending their lead as a cross from the left goes through the danger area, but there's no one on the end of it.
Gabon are just running out the clock as they stroke the ball around in midfield without looking to attack. However, Aubameyang receives the ball and has a go from outside the area. It's wide of the target.
Half a chance for Gabon as Edmond Mouele surges into the Niger area, but his shot is blocked in the nick of time. Amadou has been stretchered off which leaves Niger with only 10 men left on the pitch. Gabon is caught napping at the back as a cross from the right finds Maazou, who forces Ovono into a rare save.
The clash is petering out now with a lot of stops and starts and very little in the form of goal-mouth action. Also a couple of cynical challenges creeping into Niger's game.
Aubameyang has been lively today and again threatens on the right wing as he looks for a cross, but he can't keep the ball between the lines and gives away a goal-kick. He also comes close to beating Niger's off-side trap shortly thereafter, but is flagged just as he eyes the shot.
Gabon are well in control of this affair. Niger haven't created a chance so far in the second half and don't look like doing so any time soon.
Untidy stuff from Menas in defence. A mistake at the back almost gifts Eric Mouloungui a goal, but Kassaly is there just in time to smother the shot. Could've easily been 3-0 there. Gabon have continued where they left off in the first half.
Credit to Niger. They're still pressing Gabon and running after loose balls, but their defence is shaky at best and the Panthers still look more likely to extend their lead.
The players head towards the dressing rooms for half-time with Gabon deservedly 2-0 ahead after a dominant first half. Niger had a promising moment or two towards the end of the opening stanza, but it was the co-hosts who were in control.
Moussonou set up the second for Gabon as he whipped in a cross from the left. The initial shot was parried by the keeper, but Nguema was there to steer it home.
Gabon are content to retain possession and are cruising towards victory at the moment. Niger have been reduced to employing some long-balls in an attempt to set up an attack, but the Panthers have been untroubled.
It's difficult to see Niger coming back into this tie. Gabon have been dominant while Menas seem to be out of their depth. Both of the Panthers full-backs are now taking advantage of the space afforded to them on the wings and are threatening to extend the lead.
Stephane Nguema provided the cross from the right and Aubameyang sneaked in at the far post to head home the opener for the co-hosts. It was only a matter of time.
Niger haven't put Panthers keeper Didier Ovono under any real pressure so far. Their play is being limited to the midfield while Gabon look at ease on the ball.
The Panthers are camped in the Niger half and a goal seems inevitable for the co-hosts. The Menas, meanwhile, lack pace in their build-ups and are being dispossessed too easily. The game has noticeably slowed down now.
Niger are on the back foot again as Gabon go in search of the opener. Andre Biyogo Poko and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are in the thick of the action as they look to unlock the Niger defence. The best chance of the match falls for Aubameyang in the area, but he's too slow and squanders it as a defender smothers his shot.
Gabon are on the attack again and win a corner, from which they have another opportunity to shoot from the edge of the area, but Niger put bodies in the way. At the other end of the pitch Niger's Issoufou Alhassane Dante tries to make his presence felt in the Gabon third, but gives away a free-kick instead. Moussa Maazou attempts a shot at goal but his effort is weak and easily gathered. Niger are finding their feet now.
Niger haven't quite settled down and are struggling to hold on to the ball. Gabon are enjoying the majority of the possession and are being pushed forward by the partisan crowd. Cedric Moubamba has a crack from just outside the area but a Niger defender blocks his attempt. All Gabon at the moment.
Niger under the pump early as Gabon put pressure on goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly, forcing him into a couple of unconvincing punches as he attempts to clear his lines.
If you fancy a punt, our friends at Sky Bet have priced Ivory Coast as 1/6 favourites to top their group, while Ghana are 1/14 to qualify from Group D.
This is a crucial tie for both these sides as they will face African giants Tunisia and Morocco in their remaining Group C fixtures.
Niger line-up: 16-Daouda Kassaly; 13-Mohamed Chicoto, 4-Kader Amadou Dodo, 15-Souleymane Mazadou, 22-Mohamed Soumaila; 14-Issoufou Boubacar, 3-Abdoul Karim Lancina, 6-Idrissa Laouali, 10-Boubacar Talatou; 11-Issoufou Alhassane Dante, 2-Moussa Maazou
Gabon line-up: 1-Didier Ovono; 3-Edmond Mouele, 4-Remy Ebanega, 5-Bruno Ecuele Manga, 21-Charly Moussonou; 18-Cedric Moubamba, 14-Levy Madinda, 15-Andre Biyogo Poko; 7-Stephane Nguema, 11-Eric Mouloungui, 9-Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Experienced Gabon forward Daniel Cousin has been relegated to the bench for today's game, as he is lacking match fitness. Full team lineups to follow shortly...
If you missed out on the weekend's action, here's a quick wrap. Fellow co-hosts Equatorial Guinea kicked off their tournament with a 1-0 win over Lybia before Zambia surprised Senegal 2-1 on the opening day. On Sunday Ivory Coast edged Sudan 1-0 while Angola beat Burkina Faso 2-1.
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