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Cousin goal stuns Lions

DANIEL Cousin's goal floored Cameroon yesterday as Gabon pulled off the latest shock in an African Cup of Nations full of upsets. The 1-0 result means that none of Africa's six World Cup qualifiers managed a win in the first round of group matches.

Admittedly, Ghana had a bye, following Togo's withdrawal, and World Cup hosts South Africa are not participating, but the Indomitable Lions' defeat continued a run of surprises for the continent's big guns.

Earlier in the week, Algeria were stunned 3-0 by Malawai, and Nigeria went down 3-1 to Egypt. Star-studded Ivory Coast were held to a goalless draw by the minnows of Burkina Faso.

Hull City striker Cousin made the most of a blunder by former Liverpool defender Rigobert Song to score in the 17th minute.

Song, making a record eighth African Cup appearance, stumbled trying to cut out a through-ball, allowing Cousin space to stab in a low shot.

"We are very pleased we got a win in the first game," said Gabon coach Alain Giresse, who came out on top against French countryman Paul Le Guen.

Zambia held Tunisia to a 1-1 draw in last night's other game.

Irish Independent