On Monday night in Cairo, ten-man Gambia defeated Nigeria 1-0 to advance to the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations final (AFCON U-20). Adama Bojang, the star of the Young Scorpions, scored the lone goal to give Gambia its first ever qualification to the final.
Despite defender Haruna Njie receiving his marching orders for receiving a second yellow card in the 90th minute, the Baby Scorpions managed to hold on and achieve their narrow victory.
At 19:00 local time (17:00 UTC) on Saturday, March 11, Gambia will square off against Senegal, one of its neighbours.
The Anglophone derby lived up to its hype in the capital of Egypt, with Nigeria aiming to book a spot in yet another final and Gambia hoping to reach the AFCON U-20 final for the first time. After seven minutes, Adama Bojang of the Gambia scored against the flow of play when Ebrima Singhateh deflected a cross into his path. Bojang then slid the ball past the defenceless Chijioke Aniagboso.
Despite having less possession of the ball, Abdoulie Bojang’s Young Scorpions hung on to maintain a slim lead against the Flying Eagles at halftime.
Pa Ebou Dampha, the goalkeeper who won TotalEnergies Player of the Match, was crucial to The Gambia’s unprecedented triumph. Five minutes from the end, the busy goalkeeper gave up a penalty when Ahmed Abdullahi was impeded by his tackle. The penalty shot by Abdullahi came off the post, and the Young Scorpions were able to advance to their first-ever AFCON U-20 final.
Gambia, which has won the bronze medal twice (in 2007 and 2021), is already doing better after making it to the final, where it will compete against Senegal to attempt to win the gold medal for the first time.
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