Helder Pelembe's solitary strike helped Mozambique edge out Gabon 1-0 at home on Wednesday night.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) second-round first-leg clash was played at the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto in Maputo.
The home side should have been 1-0 up in the third minute when Mandava played a cross into the box for Helder Pelembe, who then fired wide from close range.
In the 15th minute, Gabon striker Malick Evouna burst into the Mozambique box, and placed his effort over the goal-posts.
Gabon were looking dangerous each time they pushed forward. Two minutes before the half-hour mark, Evouna's deflected shot went just over the cross-bar.
Five minutes before the interval, Gabon attacking midfielder Levy Madinda was unfortunate not to hand his side the lead as his effort struck the upright.
South African-based striker Pelembe broke the deadlock nine minutes into the second-half with a good finish to make it 1-0 to Mozambique.
Al Ahly striker Evouna thought he had restored parity on the night on the hour-mark. However, the match referee disallowed the goal for off-side.
With three minutes left on the clock, Mozambique captain Elias Pelembe had a chance to seal his side's victory, but he was brilliantly denied by Gabon goalkeeper Didier Ovono.
Ultimately, the match ended 1-0 in favour of Mozambique. The second-leg will be played at the Stade d'Angondjé, in Libreville on Saturday.
The winner on aggregate will advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) third-round.
Mozambique 1 (H.Pelembe 54')
Mozambique XI: Soarito, Zainadine Jr, Guambe, Miro, João Mussica, Jumisse, E.Pelembe, Reginaldo (Miquissone
93'), Clésio, H.Pelembe (Cavalho 80), Reinildo (Gildo 84')
Gabox XI: Ovono, Aaron, Oto´o Randal, H. Ndong, Ze Ondo, Koumba, D. Ndong, Kanga Kaku (Mbingui 82'), Madinda (Bulot 73'), Evouna, J. Lengoualama (R.Ntsitsigui 62')