Gambia secured a historic win as they beat Mauritania 1-0 in their first ever game at the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.
It was a tight Group F contest between two of the newer nations on the elite African football scene, with this being Gambia’s first ever appearance in AFCON and only Mauritania’s second after making their debut in the 2019 tournament.
The Scorpions did not have to wait long for their first AFCON goal as Bologna’s Musa Barrow laid the ball off to Ablie Jallow on the edge of the penalty area in the 10th minute, and the winger fired a left-footed effort past the dive of Babacar Diop and into the far right corner.
Barrow tried an ambitious volley from long range that swerved comfortably wide as Gambia looked to add another, but Mauritania slowly began to grow into the game before half-time, with former Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara a constant presence in attack.
It should have been 2-0 early in the second half when a free-kick from Ebrima Colley found Omar Colley at the far post, but the Sampdoria defender could not guide his header on target.
Mauritania showed little sign of finding an equaliser in the second half, with a hopeful appeal for handball following an Idrissa Thiam free-kick about as good as it got for Didier Da Rosa’s men, while Diop was forced to make a smart save from Barrow late on.
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 (@CAF_Online) January 12, 2022
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