Bata, Equatorial Guinea - Gabon coach Jorge Costa acknowledged that his side were deservedly beaten by Congo in Wednesday's AFCON 2015 clash in Bata.
"It was a very difficult game for us, but with due respect to Congo it was a fair result," said the Portuguese coach after a solitary Prince Oniangue goal early in the second half decided the Group A encounter in Bata.
"We had chances in the first half but the luck we had against Burkina Faso we did not have today.
"Congo controlled the game, and when you don't score and you make mistakes, you lose points."
A win would have taken Gabon through to the quarter-finals with a game to spare, but the defeat leaves their hopes of progressing to the knockout stage in the balance.
Goal hero Oniangue said: "It was a good result but this group is still very open, anything is still possible.
"We will keep working away and after Sunday's match against Burkina Faso we will know if this dream continues."
Claude Le Roy's side need just a point in their final group game to progress to the last eight.