Gambia claim historic first Africa Cup of Nations win against Mauritania

By Beng Emmanuel

Debutants Gambia won their first ever match at the Africa Cup of Nations after edging group F rivals Mauritania 1-0 at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium on Wednesday.  

Ablie  Jallow’s first half stunner was enough to seal victory for the scorpions in only their first game at the 24-nations tournament in Cameroon. The win put them level on point with Mali who edged Tunisia 1-0 after a controversial end to the game. 

Gambia took control of proceedings and proved the stronger side in the opening minutes of their historic game. They look so assured and were rewarded for their bright start when Ablie Jallow gave them an early lead only ten minutes into the game. 

The 23-year-old Generation foot product who signed a five year contract for French Ligue 1 side Metz in 2017 but currently on loan to Belgian club Seraing became the first player to score for his country at the Nations Cup. 

Gambia kept the pressure but were unable to increase their lead despite the plethora of chances they created especially late on in the second half. They also survived a flurry of pressure from Mauritania whose fight back was highly commendable although they failed to overturn their misfortunes. They were signs they would have a difficult game when the wrong national anthem was played for them.  

Gambia emulated the footsteps of Madagascar who celebrated the first Nations Cup win in their maiden stint during the previous edition in Egypt. The other newcomers at the tournament Comoros lost their first game to Gabon 0-1. 

Mauritania will continue their search for a first win at the 24-nations tournament since making their debut in 2019. They have now lost two games and drawn two since their maiden appearance. 

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