Gabon-Mexico Preview

BY foxsports • July 28, 2012

Mexico will be looking to establish its credentials as the possible gold medalist when it faces Gabon at the City of Coventry on Sunday.

The Central American side was disappointing in its opening game against South Korea, playing out a scoreless draw with few attempts on goal in a performance that was only sparked into life following the introduction of substitute Giovani dos Santos. Despite the level of performance, Mexico has high hopes of improving as the tournament progresses.

Mexico forward Marco Fabian was not too downhearted with last Thursday's result in Newcastle, but was keen to stress just how crucial the match against Gabon will be.

"The good thing is we didn't lose," said Fabian, who plays his club soccer with Chivas of the Mexican League. "South Korea was a fast, strong, intense team. We played our role well, we tried, both teams attempted to score but this draw isn't bad, we didn't lose.

"All of our matches will be intense but (South Korea) was a start, we both came out with a lot of attitude but a little less (skill) and in the next game we need to free ourselves and show our quality. If we beat (Gabon) we can think about qualifying (to the knockout stage), so this will be the most important match of all."

Surprise qualifier Gabon arrived in London in low spirits, missing key players due to club commitments and bemoaning the quality of its preparation. The pessimism surrounding the squad looked to be justified as it gave away a penalty four minutes into its opening game against Switzerland to fall behind 1-0.

However, a strike by star Pierre Aubameyang drew Gabon level and it hung on for a richly deserved draw which keeps alive its hopes of qualifying from an unpredictable Group B.

Striker Aubameyang was quick to praise his French club Saint-Etienne for helping him achieve his current form and fitness.

"It's thanks to the generosity of Saint-Etienne that I'm in such good shape," Aubameyang told "They let me rest for a little longer than my clubmates, which gave me the chance to recover properly. I'm going to do everything I can to be in form here at the Olympics and to be ready for the start of the championship. I'm still young and I've got to make the most of that.

"I really wanted to be here. Things like this only come round once in your career, and I'd like to thank my (Saint-Etienne) coach Christophe Galtier for understanding that and for sending me messages of support."

South Korea play Switzerland later Sunday in the other game in the group, while the final round of matches take place Wednesday with Mexico facing Switzerland and Gabon taking on South Korea.

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