Aaron Boupendza’s strike from a narrow angle sealed a 1-0 win for Gabon over Africa Cup of Nations debutantes Comoros Islands in their opening Group C clash on Monday.
Gabon, who were missing talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and influential midfielder Mario Lemina due to Covid-19 infections, never looked troubled and scored from one of only a few shots on target at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Boupendza rifled the ball into the roof of the net after he was set free in the box by Louis Ameka, giving Gabon their first win at the finals since they defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 in the 2015 group stages.
Gabon move joint top of the pool with Morocco, who beat Ghana 1-0 earlier on Monday.
Morocco face Comoros at 4pm on Friday, while Ghana take on Gabon in the other Group C clash later that day at 7pm. Both games are live on Sky Sports Football.
The Africa Cup of Nations tournament will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in January and February.
The tournament, originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, will be played in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6, 2022, with Sky Sports showing all 52 games live.
Twenty-four teams will take part, kicking off on January 9 as hosts Cameroon host Burkina Faso in Yaounde, before culminating in the final on February 6 in the capital.