Gabon’s finest hour in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying came in their maiden campaign, when they overcame Nigeria to deny their more prestigious rivals a place at Italy 1990. Eliminated in the first round ahead of Korea/Japan 2002 and after the group stage four years later, the Panthers finally made headlines again on the road to South Africa 2010. Placed in a tough group alongside Togo, Cameroon and Morocco, they kicked off with a victory in Casablanca and a home success against the Sparrowhawks to take an early lead in the section, only to have their qualification hopes dashed in their two meetings with the Indomitable Lions.
The current crop
2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations co-hosts along with Equatorial Guinea, Gabon is capable of the best and the worst. In 2012, they won all their group matches, but lost in quarter-final against Mali. They were unable to qualify for the 2013 edition in South Africa, however. The Panthers are anxious to finally step up to a new level, building on the experience amassed under former coach Alain Giresse and present incumbent Gernot Rohr.
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Francois Amegasse, Pierre Aubameyang