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24th Jan 2022

AFCON debutants Gambia make history by progressing to quarter-finals

Daniel Brown

Musa Barrow’s second-half goal sent them into the last eight 

Africa Cup of Nations debutants The Gambia secured their place in the quarter-finals of AFCON with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Guinea. 

Musa Barrow’s second-half goal was enough to send Tom Saintfiet’s side into the next round of the knockout stages. 

The striker received a pass and, on the turn, beat a defender and buried his strike past Aly Keita in the 71st minute.

Guinea – who were without Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita – thought they had equalised, but saw the goal ruled out for offside. 

Later in the game, as Guinea pushed for an equaliser, The Gambia’s Yusupha Njie was sent off after receiving two yellow cards – despite coming on as a second-half substitute. 

Kaba Diawara’s men also hit the post in injury time, before another effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Baboucarr Gaye.

Gaye’s save was nothing short of spectacular, with Jose Kante’s strike arriving at force. It came just seconds after Conte had smashed the left-hand upright from a tight angle.

Following this, Guinea striker Morgan Guilavogui managed to muster an effort at goal on the rebound off the bar, but he had his follow-up attempt blocked by Pa Modou Jagne.

From the resulting corner, Kante saw his header fly over the crossbar – which saw the Scorpions, ranked 150th and the lowest at the tournament – progress into the next round, with Guinea centre-back Conte also being dismissed in injury time for a second booking.

The Gambia will now play either hosts Cameroon or Comoros in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

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