Last Updated: 31/01/12 7:57pm
A rather dramatic as well as ugly end to the game as Ebang gets behind two rasping shots on his goal from Tunisia, only for Darragi and several Gabonese players to get into some unnecessary pushing and shoving. The referee manages to get in the middle of the raucous as the match looks to be heading into group topping victory for the Panthers with the Eagles finishing in second spot.
Bruno Mbanangoye Zita comes off in the closing exchanges to be replaced by Georges Ambourouet as Gabon are only moments away from an historic three wins in the group stages of an AFCON tournament.
Aubameyang goes down the box under the challenge of two Tunisian tacklers after showing a good turn of pace and turn onto a long ball forward, but the referee waves play on despite the Panthers cries for a penalty.
It's getting a bit scrabby now with Aymen Abdennour picking up Tunisia's third booking of the match, as the Eagles make their third change heading into the last few minutes, Khalifa earning a break to be replaced by Oussama Darragi.
Moise Brou Apanga receives a card for a trailing leg in the tackle as the Gabonse just need to keep their wits and heads about them at this late stage of the game.
Gabon forced into their second substitution with the influential Mouele needing to helped off the field and replaced by Remy Ebanega. And already the right-back's absence is felt as Khalifa breaks down the flank and delivers ball into box for replacement Allaagui, but the ball just has too much pace on it.
The Eagles freshen things up in attack with Sami Allagui coming on for Issam Jemaa upfront as the Tunisians try to build from the back despite a relentless Gabonese armada smelling a second goal in the offing.
Tunisia now need to wake because they're endanger of sinking under the waves on top of waves of Gabonese attacking surges into their half. Jridi makes a couple half-stops from stinging shots from distance, but was almost beaten by Cousin when the big man was put through on goal and just couldn't get a clean strike under pressure.
GOAL! GABON! AUBAMEYANG! There's just no stopping the Panthers hitman from finding the back of the net, the tournament's joint top-goalscorer firing his side into the lead with a sharp right-footed finish at the end of a quick-fire breakout and pass forward from the just behind the halfway line.
Madinda is proving to be an astute addition to the Panthers attacking momentum in this half, the diminutive forward sending in a couple a promising crosses into the danger area for Cousin and Aubameyang, the latter almost getting the better of Jridi as the striker's flighty goal attempt is just about curtailed.
It's almost a carbon-copy of the how the first 45 minutes begun with the Carthage Eagles having the run of the green going forward while the home side have to sit back and absorb the waves and look to catch their opponents on the counter. The Panthers, though, catch the Tunisians napping down the right with Mouele taking off down the flank and then cutting in to drill in a shot on the angle which is deflected out for a corner. Moments later, and the Gabonese have Jridi clutching at air yet again, Madinda's ball in from the right draws a Lloyd Palun headed attempt off-target.
Chance goes a-begging for Tunisia after a neat one-two just over the halfway line between Msakni and Khalifa unleashes the latter before he attempts a back-heel for the onrushing Lahia, the movement too ambitious for its own good and the Gabonese manage to clear the danger.
Gabon get the second stanza restarted and Rohr has looked to his bench to make surprise change, the dangerous Meye coming off to be replaced by Levy Madinda. The youngster's going to have some big boots to fill up front for the Panthers.
Just as we begun questioning the contributions of the mo-hawked Aubameyang, the Panthers ace surges down the right flank and whips in a pass into the area which results in a goalmouth scramble between Jridi, Meye and Edmond Mouele, the Eagles gloveman getting the benefit of the doubt under the Gabonese men's strong presence and gets the free-kick in his favour.
After a nervous opening 25 minutes, the Black Panthers will feel pretty comfortable with the way they've managed to battle back and turn the tables on the Eagles in terms of attacking threats. Cousin is looking all the more dominant in getting to long balls sent upfield and Meye's runs off his captain are intuitive and well-timed. The concern for coach Gernot Rohr will the ineffectualness of Aubameyang.
Anis Boussaidi goes into the referee's book for a late tackle as the Tunisians have suddenly been called into action quite frequently to quell several Gabonese attacks. Moments earlier the Panthers had another positive chance on goal, Meye sharp cross from the right allowing Andre Biyogo Poko to try and get his head behind it with venom, a las, to no avail.
From almost nothing, a long ball to Cousin ten metres outside Tunisia's box sees the Panthers skipper head it on to an onrushing Meye, who gets behind the Eagles defence but fails to strike first time and his delayed effort lacks the power or direction to trouble the 'keeper.
Gabon starting to edge their way back into the game now, spending more time in the Tunisians' half of the pitch. Meye lets fly with a powerfully struck shot on goal, his attempt whizzing just wide of the right post. Crosses and another free-kick into the Eagles' box have also called a jittery Jridi into another flapping clearance, who really doesn't look convincing in the air.
Despite a lack of goals, the fast-paced of the game being largely played by the Tunisians is a pleasure to watch. The Eagles ploy to try and come around the Gabonese defence on the left is proving potentially dangerous as Khelifa blitzes his way round the back into the area before the cover defence clears the danger. At the other end, the Panthers get a rare attacking opportunity from a free-kick into Tunisia's 18-yard area and Daniel Cousin robust challenge in the air cleans out 'keeper Rami Jridi. But the shot-stopper's missed attempted punch-out would've been to blame if Roguy Meye's header had been on target.
The Panthers defence is battling to contain the runs from the flanks by Msakni, the Eagles winger's last run taking his marker far out to the left before cutting a great ball into the box from an acute angle. Unfortunately, nothing came of the movement as Khalil Chemmam receives the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Aubameyang who tries to break from the back.
It's all the Carthage Eagles at the moment as Gabon struggle to their attacking game on the go. In contrast to the enterprising and feisty play of Tunisia's Msakni who's been involved in almost every one of his team's forays into their opponents half, Panthers ace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has almost invisible and has barely had a touch on the ball thus far.
The bright start since the opening whistle for the Tunisians continues as Youssef Msakni's booted attempt at goal is blocked. Saber Khelifa and Yahia also try their luck from just outside the box, their efforts whistling just wide of a diving D Ovono Ebang on both occasions.
Both sides look eager to make some early headway on the scoreboard, making some decent attempts at string passes together. But it's the Eagles who almost make something happen as Saber Khelifa gets up high in the box to try and direct his header from a cross into the back of the net.
Tunisia get the first half underway and Wissem Ben Yahia already tries his luck from range, but no dice for the Eagles midfielder as his shot sails well wide. It is most likely that the team that finishes as runner's up will face Ghana in the last eight, unless Guinea are able to defeat the Black Stars in Wednesday night's Group D encounter.
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Tunisia are rated at 23/10 to beat Gabon today according to our friends at Sky Bet, while the Black Panthers are 6/5 to come out victorious. After the co-hosts incredible exploits at the continental showpiece thus far, the Gabonese are now 7/1 favourites to lift the AFCON trophy.
In team news, Panthers top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should be fit despite a slight injury, but André Biyogho Poko is a doubt due to a back problem. Several Gabonese players are believed to be suffering from fatigue, particularly Levy Madinda who could be one of those rested. Tunisia, it appears, have not placed as much emphasis on winning the game - there have been reports that coach Sami Trabelsi could rest some of his big players, namely Zouheir Dhaouadi, Mejdi Traoui, Khaled Korbi and Aymen Mathlouthi. There are also concerns over the fitness of goalkeeper Aymen Matlhtouhi. A boost for the Eagles is news that Caf have ruled that Bilel Ifa is available after erroneously believing he had picked up two yellow cards.
Greetings and welcome to Stade De Franceville for the AFCON Group C clash between Gabon and Tunisia! Both sides won their opening two encounters to have a 100% record going into the final action of the opening round. The Black Panthers, however, have a superior goal difference, which means that a draw against the Carthage Eagles will still be enough to see them through as the top-placed side from the group. The tournament co-hosts go into today's game on the back of a morale-boosting and thrilling 3-2 win over Morocco, while the Eagles left it late to edge Niger 2-1 in their last outing.