The Gabon Panthers secured a 2-1 victory against Kenya in their opening match of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, held in Franceville on Thursday evening in Group F.
Facing an early setback despite playing in front of their home crowd, the Gabonese team experienced a surprise as Masoud Juma scored for the Harambee Stars in the 40th minute.
Gabon, missing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was not selected for this international break, needed to turn the tide to avoid a disappointing performance on home soil.
Their breakthrough came in the 60th minute when former Saint-Étienne striker Denis Bouanga found the net. As the match seemed destined for a draw, Guelor Kanga secured the victory for Gabon by scoring in the 88th minute.
With three points, the Panthers are currently in second place in Group F, sharing the same points as their upcoming opponent, Burundi (scheduled for November 19), who leads the group.
Kenya, on the other hand, will face Seychelles on November 20 for the second match of these qualifiers.