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Francois Mori, Associated Press
Balloons fly in the air prior to the African Cup of Nations Group C soccer match between Gabon and Niger at Stade De L'Amitie in Libreville, Gabon, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012.

LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Gabon opened its African Cup of Nations campaign with a dominant 2-0 win over Niger on Monday in Group C.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sent a far-post header into the net in the 30th minute from a deep cross by Stephane Nguema as co-host Gabon controlled play throughout the first half. Nguema swept a loose ball home for the second just before halftime after Aubameyang's close-range header was saved.

Niger was starved of possession and completely outplayed on its African Cup debut at a packed and rowdy Stade de l'Amitie.

Gabon went to the top of the group ahead of Monday's second game in Libreville between North African rivals Morocco and Tunisia.