Gabon’s Kabore challenges Burkina Faso’s Kone during their opening group-stage match at the African Cup of Nations. (REUTERS)

Gabon overpowered Burkina Faso 2-0 to jump to the top of Group A standings, as the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament got underway on Saturday.

Host Equatorial Guinea and Congo battled to a 1-1 draw, meanwhile, in the other opening match of the tournament.

Led by goals from Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, a striker for Germany’s Borussia Dortmund,  and a header from 72nd minute Malick Evouna, Gabon claimed bragging rights, at least for the moment, as the leader of Group A, and the tournament. Burkina Faso had come into the match with high expectations with a run into the finals in 2013 before defeat by Nigeria.

Nigeria, much to many observers’ surprise, didn’t even qualify for this year’s tournament.

Congo disappointed a home turf crowd, when Thievy Bifouma netted a  late goal to tie Equatorial Guinea. Emilio Nsue Lopez scored early, in the 16th minute, to the delight of the host nations.