Desportivo Mafra defender Juary Soares equalizer for the debutants in the 90th minute as Guinea-Bissau held host Gabon to a 1-1 draw in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations opener at the Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville on Saturday evening.
The Panthers took the lead in 52 minutes when superstar Borussia Dortmund goal poacher Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned in Denis Bouanga’s cross-shot.
However, the heavily built centre-back, Juary Soares who was born in Guinea-Bissau, but raised in Portugal rising highest from a set-piece to shocked the home crowd.
The goal sparked wild celebrations and was the least Guinea-Bissau deserved from a Group A fixture that only sparked into life after half-time.
The Gabon captain went close to doubling the hosts lead in the 69th minute, but he was unable to direct his volley attempt from a Mario Lemina cross on target.
Gabon coach Jose Antonio Camacho: “It’s very difficult to win the first match in these tournaments. For the next match, we have to fight tooth and nail.”
Guinea-Bissau coach Baciro Cande: “We are very, very happy. Now we have the motivation to go as far as possible.”
In the other late group game, Burkina Faso fought back to secure a 1-1 draw with Cameroon on the opening day of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Gabon (0) 1 (Aubameyang 52′)
Guinea-Bissau (0) 1 (Juary Soares 90+1′)
Gabon: Ovono; Palun, E.Manga, Appindangoye, Obiang – Tandjingora (Poko 84′), Lemina (Kanga 73′), Ndong – Evouna (Aboué 88′), Aubameyang, Bouanga
Guinea-Bissau: Jonas; Dabo, Juary, Rudinilson, Soares – Zezinho, Santos (Aldair 75′), Nanissio, Brito – Camara (F.Mendy 66′), Mario (Piqueti 62′)