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Poor build-up to blame for Gabon exit says Aubameyang

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Gabon's forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reacts at the end of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Cameroon and Gabon at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on January 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

Gabon’s forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reacts at the end of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Cameroon and Gabon at the Stade de l’Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on January 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

Gabon talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admitted that the Africa Cup of Nations hosts had blown their chance and blamed a poor build-up to the tournament after they were sent packing in the group stage on Sunday.

“We had chances. Unfortunately there are days when it doesn’t go in,” said the Borussia Dortmund striker, who missed a glorious early opportunity for the Panthers as they drew 0-0 with Cameroon in Libreville.

Denis Bouanga also struck the post in stoppage time before Didier Ndong’s follow-up was saved by Fabrice Ondoa in the Cameroon goal.

A third draw in as many matches was not enough and they were eliminated as Cameroon and Burkina Faso went through instead.

The exit came after a poor build-up to the tournament, including a late decision to appoint veteran Jose Antonio Camacho as coach and a late start to a training camp.

“We were supposed to start on January 3, but we started a little bit late. We didn’t really have the time to prepare,” lamented the French-born striker.

“I am really proud of all the players, because everyone gave their all.

“I think we were stronger than every other team in the group, but it is about everything, the preparation, the change of coach, it wasn’t easy.”


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