TUNISIA defeated highly-fancied Morocco 2-1 last night despite spending much of the African Nations Cup Group C tie on the back foot.
Saber Khlifa got the slightest of touches to a free kick from Khaled Korbi to open the scoring in the first half and Tunisia made it 2-0 when substitute Youssef Msakni finished off a counter-attack in the 77th minute. Captain Houcine Kharjah pulled one back for Morocco in the 86th minute.
Earlier, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lived up to his reputation by inspiring co-hosts Gabon to a comfortable 2-0 win over debutants Niger in their opening African Nations Cup Group C match in Libreville yesterday. The 22-year-old delivered a stellar performance to help provide the perfect start to the tournament for the Gabonese, co-hosting the 16-team event with neighbours Equatorial Guinea.
After a quiet start, Aubameyang ghosted in at the back post to squeeze home a header and put his team ahead just as they were becoming frustrated by their opponents.
A diving header from the St Etienne striker on the stroke of half-time set up the second goal. Goalkeeper Daouda Kassaly made a brilliant save to stop Aubameyang’s effort but the rebound fell perfectly for Stephane Nguema to score. Aubameyang continued to keep Niger on the back foot until he was replaced late on by former Rangers striker Daniel Cousin.