Mexico v Gabon Result
29 Jul 2012
Super-sub Giovani Dos Santos scored both goals as Mexico secured a 2-0 win over Gabon and went top of Group B.
Mexico 2 Gabon 0 - Result
The first game of the sell-out London 2012 Olympic Football double-header at the City of Coventry Stadium saw Gabon take on Mexico.
There was action off the pitch way before kick-off with Mexican waves a recurring theme in the venue’s packed stands.
And it was the Mexicans who started strongly as they controlled the opening exchanges. The North Americans’ first effort game after just five minutes when a clever shimmy from left-back Darvin Chavez opened up space at the top of the penalty area – but his powerful effort skipped just wide of the left-hand post.
Two more golden chances came Mexico’s way just two minutes later – first Marco Fabian had his shot from inside the box saved by Gabon keeper Didier Ovono before Miguel Ponce failed to connect cleanly at the far post from six yards as the ball came back into the area.
The Mexicans were getting closer, and after 21 minutes they found the side-netting when Chavez played in striker Oribe Peralta with a clever pass at the near post.
Gabon’s first real chance of the game followed in the 26th minute when Ponce brought down Spanish side Celta Vigo’s Levy Madinda. Jerry Obiang stepped up to take the free-kick, but his curling left-foot effort from 25-yards sailed just over the bar.
The African side crafted another effort in the 33rd minute but Obiang’s powerful drive from the left-hand side of the area was well saved by Mexican keeper Jose Corona.
A final effort from Mexico came on the stroke of halftime as Fabian whipped in a free-kick from the left wing – but Peralta squandered the chance when his free header drifted past the right-hand post.
Peralta went close again with the first chance of the second-half. His powerful effort from 25-yards forcing Ovono into a full-stretch diving save at his right-hand post.
Javier Aquino was next to test the Gabon keeper after his run into the box ended with a powerful drive from an acute angle – but Ovono was able to turn it out for a corner.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 63rd minute when half-time substitute Giovani Dos Santos had the desired impact for Mexico. The Tottenham Hotspur striker scored with a low effort into the bottom corner after Peralta held up the ball well and found him at the top of the box with a clever back-heel despite the close attention of Gabon’s Mabikov Boussoughou.
After taking the lead they deserved, Mexico seemed content to protect their advantage, and Gabon began to apply pressure.
Pierre Abameyang had Gabon’s next two chances – first when his volley from Franck Engonga cross sailed just wide on 67 minutes. Again, he failed to finish on 71 minutes when Ovono got down well low and to his left to save.
Gabon almost equalised in spectacular fashion when Engonga’s cross was nearly met by Aubameyang’s overhead kick before substitute Allen Nono latched onto the ball but pulled his effort wide.
Gabon’s day went from bad to worse when Henri Ndong conceded a penalty and sent off in stoppage time after bringing down Peralta after he weaved his way into the box.
Up stepped Dos Santos who dispatched the spot kick into the top right hand corner to seal all three points for Mexico.