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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Gambia upset Tunisia, Mali beat Mauritania to top Group F

21:46 IST 20/01/2022
Anis Ben Slimane of Tunisia, Yusupha Bobb and Noah Sonko Sundberg of Gambia, January 2022
Group F was concluded on Thursday in what was the final day of this tournament’s group stage

Abdoulie Jallow’s stoppage-time goal sent Gambia through to the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 following a 1-0 win over Tunisia in Limbe on Thursday. 


Mali will join tournament debutants Gambia in the knockout phase after beating Mauritania 2-0 in Douala on the same evening to top Group F. Tunisia have finished third and will meet Nigeria in the next round.


Massadio Haidara’s second-minute goal and Ibrahima Kone’s 49th-minute penalty conversion sank Mauritania as Mali set up a Last-16 date with Mauritania on Wednesday.


Group F runners-up Gambia will face Guinea on Monday hoping to cause another upset and progress further in the tournament.


The Carthage Eagles agonisingly witnessed Seifeddine Jaziri having his penalty kick saved by Gambia goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye in the stoppage time of the first half. 


It was the third time in this tournament for Tunisia to miss from the penalty spot.

 

This got worse for the North Africans when they were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time following a red card to substitute Mohamed Drager at a time when they were pushing for a winner.


Seconds later, Jallow struck with the last attack of the contest, a few moments after his teammate Musa Barrow had been denied by the crossbar off a ferocious free-kick. 


Gambia become the second debutants to reach the knockout stage in this tournament in Cameroon after Comoros.


It was an impressive outing by the Scorpions who defied the experience of Tunisia. 


On the same evening, Mali showed more intent, breaking the deadlock two minutes into the match before Ibrahima Kone doubled their advantage from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half, to sink Mauritania.


It was Mauritania’s third straight defeat of the tournament and they went back home without even scoring while conceding seven goals. 


Mauritania did little to fight back as Mali held on to the lead going into the break.


Then the Eagles picked up from where they had left off with Kone placing them further ahead after beating Mauritania goalkeeper Babacar Diop from the penalty spot.