Gabon midfielder Andre Biyogo Poko
Friday Mar 18, 2016. 19:12
Gabon head coach Jorge Costa announced his 23-man squad ahead of their friendly double header with Sierra Leone.
Drawn in Group I of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan and the Leone Stars, tournament hosts Gabon are already through to the finals and their matches against the other three teams don’t count towards the standings.
However, their participation to the campaign remains a good preparation for the Panthers, who are dreaming of lifting the trophy on home soil next year.
Costa put his faith in foreign-based players, with CF Mounana goalkeeper Stéphane Bitseki the only representative from their domestic league.
But while the Portuguese manager should be able to rely on the majority of his stars, including Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina and attacking trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Malick Evouna and Frédéric Bulot, he will have to cope in the absence of injured Lloyd Palun and suspended André Biyogo Poko.
The Panthers will host Sierra Leone in Franceville on 25 March before facing the Leone Stars in Freetown three days later.
GABON 23-MAN SQUAD
Didier Ovono (Ostende, Belgium), Anthony Mfa Mezui (Seraing, Belgium), Stéphane Bitseki (CF Mounana)
Junior Randal Oto’o Zue (CD Tondela, Portugal), Benjamin Zé Ondo (MC Oujda, Morocco), Johann Obiang (Chateauroux, France), Yrondu Musavu King (Lorient, France), Bruno Ecuele Manga (Cardiff City, Wales), Henri Ndong (Auxerre, France), Aaron Appindangoye (Evian TG, France), Ulysse Daryl Obame Ndong (Ermis Aradippou, Cyprus)
Didier Ndong (Lorient, France), Levy Madinda (Celta Vigo, Spain), Mario Lemina (Juventus Turin, Italy), Merlin Tandjigora (Meizhou Hakka, China), Samson Mbingui (NA Hussein Dey, Algeria), Kanga Guélor (Rostov, Russia), Franck Engongah (El Geish, Egypt)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Malick Evouna (Al-Ahly, Egypt), Johan Lengoualama (OCS Safi, Morocco), Frédéric Bulot (Reims, France), Axel Meye (Eskisehirspor, Turkey)