Gambia revived from their 5-1 defeat to Senegal in the group stage of the WAFU-A zonal qualifiers of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, Mauritania 2021 to win the tournament and cut the zone’s single ticket for the finals.
“I am sure this is a surprise for a lot of people. Few people believed in our ability to win this trophy except the staff, the players and our families”, explained Mattar Mboge, Gambia coach.
On Sunday evening at the Lat-Dior stadium in Thies, Gambia responded to win hosts Senegal on penalties after a 2-2 draw in regular and extra time.
Habibou Mendy broke the deadlock as early as the third minute, tapping Kajally Drammeh’s cross from close range.
Three minutes before halftime, Senegal captain Dion Lopy header equalized for the hosts.
Gambia came back stronger in the second half and took the lead again in the 56th minute thanks to Kajally Drammeh.
It did not take Senegal long to equalize again through Libasse Gueye after a good job from Samba Diallo.
The extra time witnessed no clear chances for both sides, despite seeing Gambia playing with 10 men for the last 20 minutes, after Lamin Jawara was sent off in the 100th minute, as the game went to be decided on penalties.
Senegal missed their last shot to see Gambia winning the title and reserving their ticket to Mauritania 2021.