Mauritania beat Gabon 2-1 in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification Group I match at the Stade Cheikha Ould Boïdiya on Saturday evening.
The win saw the Lions of Chinguetti qualify for the Afcon finals for the third time, having taken part in the 2019 edition in Egypt and the 2021 showpiece in Cameroon.
Gabon, on the other hand, saw their ambitions of qualifying for the Afcon finals for the ninth time fade away after recording their third defeat in Group I.
Mauritania maintain their hot run as they qualify to #TotalEnergiesAFCON for the 3rd edition in a row! 👏#TotalEnergiesAFCONQ2023 pic.twitter.com/VnkIS4cTxf — CAF (@CAF_Online) September 9, 2023
The Panthers suffered a major blow just five minutes into the game as their goalkeeper Jean-Noel Amonome was shown a straight red card and Gabon had to soldier on with 10 players.
The Lions of Chinguetti were able to take advantage of their numerical superiority over the visitors as they broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Hemeya Tanjy netted to make it 1-0 to Mauritania.
The hosts then exerted more pressure on the Panthers' defence and they doubled their lead in the 42nd minute with Aboubakar Kamara scoring to make it 2-0 to Mauritania heading into the halftime break.
Gabon looked to launch a strong comeback in the second half and the Lions of Chinguetti were reduced to 10 players in the 85th minute when El Hassan Houbeib was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
The visitors managed to score in stoppage time when Didier Ndong netted after being set up by Wilfried Ebane, but the goal proved to be a mere consolation as Mauritania held on to secure a 2-1 win on the night.
Mauritania (2) 2 (Tanjy 30', A. Kamara 42')
Gabon (0) 1 (Ndong 90'+1)
MAURITANIA: Niasse, Keita, Houbeib, El Abd, Abeid, Fofana (El Hacen 57'), Mouhsine, Soueid (Ba 72'), Mahmoud (Gassama 72'), Tanjy (Thiam 57'), A. Kamara (Anne 65').
GABON: Amonome, Oyono, Appindangoye, N'Dong, Ekomie (Ebane 71'), Lemina (Babicka 71'), Allevinah (Mbina 56'), Kanga, Boupendza (Moucketou-Moussounda 71'), Bouanga (Mfa Mezui 10'), Aubameyang.