NEWCASTLE, England (AP) -- Gabon rallied for a 1-1 Group B draw against Switzerland in its Olympics debut on Thursday, pulling off the tie despite a thin bench.
Admir Mehmedi put Switzerland ahead by converting an early penalty kick he was forced to retake after Innocent Emeghara was brought down inside the area.
Gabon tied it in the 45th minute. Pierre Aubameyang collected Alexander Ndoumbou's floated cross alone inside the area and flicked a shot under goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.
Switzerland finished with 10 men after Oliver Buff was shown his second yellow card in the 78th for theatrically going down under little pressure as he burst into the African nation's area.
"I saw some great things but our game lacked consistency," coach Pierluigi Tami said following Switzerland's first Olympic appearance in 84 years. "But I was hoping to go into the break leading 1-0 so I could correct certain things."
It was certainly an encouraging effort for Gabon, which had 15 players available at St. James Park after last-minute addition Samson Mbingui was approved to join. Gabon's squad has been set back by injuries and clubs blocking players from joining the national team.
"Sure it's difficult to play with this configuration and with so many replacements," Gabon coach Claude Mbourounot said. "We just play the cards we're dealt and hope we can make it."
All four teams in Group B have one point after Mexico and South Korea drew 0-0 earlier on Thursday. Switzerland plays South Korea on Sunday, when Gabon faces Mexico.