Gabon will not be taking part in the 2023 AFCON after losing 2-1 to Mauritania on Saturday September 9. Despite his return to the Panthères, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has failed in his mission to save the day.
Aubameyang will not be at 2023 AFCON
Gabon will not be in Côte d’Ivoire. On the 6th and final day of qualifying, the Panthères lost to Mauritania (2-1). This disappointment was symbolized by the failed return of star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabonese national team’s all-time top scorer was excluded from the squad in the middle of the CAN 2022 tournament for breaking Covid-19 rules. A few months later, he decided to put an end to his international career, sending shockwaves through the country.
After a season away from the Panthères, the 34-year-old striker decided to sign his return following pressure from the President of the Republic. “A few days ago, I had the immense honor of being received by the President of the Republic of my country, Ali Bongo Ondimba, and at the same time to be able to listen to the wise words he passed on to me like a father speaking to his son. Following this, I put myself at the disposal of my country and coach Patrice Neveu, with whom, of course, we spoke. Once a panther, always a panther”. Here is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s statement on May 16, 2023 announcing his return.
Invisible against DRC and Mauritania
Expected to be a savior to help Gabon clinch a place at the 2023 African Cup of Nations, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quickly made a name for himself in a friendly match in France against Olympique Saint-Quentin (7-0), a National 2 side. He then went on to score a brace in the build-up to the 5th day of the qualifiers against DR Congo. Despite a wind of hope blowing through Gabon ahead of such a crucial match, the reality will be quite different. The Panthères suffered back-to-back defeats against the DRC (0-2) at home and Mauritania (2-1), which definitely sealed the future of Denis Bouanga’s teammates.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has missed out on a comeback and his goal of taking Gabon to the 2023 AFCON finals.
Invisible and without a goal in the last two days of the qualifiers, Aubameyang was perhaps playing his last minutes in a national team shirt.
Source : SPORTNEWSAFRICA