Aaron Boupendza Earns Gabon Call-Up for Vital AFCON Qualifier

September 5, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

FC Cincinnati forward Aaron Boupendza has been called up to the Gabonese National Team ahead of the country's final qualifying match for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Les Panthères will travel to face Mauritania in Nouakchott on Saturday, September 9 in Gabon's sixth and final 2023 AFCON qualifier.

The Group I qualifying match will determine a finalist for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place in Ivory Coast in January 2024. The top two teams in each of the 12 qualifying groups qualify for the final stage of the tournament.

Gabon and Mauritania are level on seven points in second place behind DR Congo in Group I. Because Mauritania hold a better goal difference than Gabon, Les Panthères must defeat Mauritania on their home soil, whereas Al-Murabitun would advance to the Africa Cup of Nations with a win or a draw.

2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying Group I

1. DR Congo: 3-2-0, 9 points (+5 GD)

2. Mauritania: 2-2-1, 7 points (+1 GD)

3. Gabon: 2-2-1, 7 points (-1 GD)

4. Sudan: 2-3-0, 6 points (-5 GD)

Boupendza has started and played in four of the five qualifiers for Gabon leading up to the final 2023 AFCON qualifier. Boupendza, making his first appearance with his national team since debuting with FC Cincinnati on July 15, has scored four goals in 25 senior caps for Les Panthères. The 27-year-old has scored twice in his career in AFCON qualifiers, and once in the Africa Cup of Nations, on January 10, 2022 in a 1-0 win over Comoros.

The forward has scored two goals and added one assist in seven appearances across all competitions for FC Cincinnati since joining the Orange and Blue mid-season.

FC Cincinnati return to action on Saturday, September 16 at Philadelphia Union. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the match will stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Fans can also listen to the match locally on Fox Sports 1360 and on SiriusXM FC 157.

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