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The Eagles of Mali can harbor regrets. While leading against Gambia, the Scorpions equalized in the final seconds (1-1). The Malians missed the opportunity to qualify directly for the round of 16.
The match of the winners of the first day of group F ended, Sunday, January 16, in a draw between Gambia and Mali (1-1). Dominating during the game, the Eagles came up against a solid Gambian team. While they had managed to open the scoring late in the game on a penalty, they were caught in the score in the last seconds of regulation time on another penalty.
The Malians, however, begin the meeting with better intentions. Mohamed Magassouba’s players created their first chance in the 2nd minute. On a center back from Adama Traoré, Djenepo takes the ball, but does not manage to adjust his strike. The Eagles then monopolize the ball. In the 17th minute, Haïdara manages to strike on the left side, but his shot ends up in the side netting.
The Scorpions, on the other hand, have little possession of the ball, but they know how to be dangerous, especially on set pieces. In the 21st minute, Barrow was close to opening the scoring with a powerful free kick from 30m, but his shot crashed into the post of the Malian goal. Six minutes later, his teammate Jallow also finds the post on a new free kick. In this first period, the domination is Malian, but the clearest occasions are Gambian.
A penalty story
After the break, the physiognomy remains the same. The Malians play the game, but without succeeding in concretizing. The meeting lacked rhythm, but little by little the Eagles accelerated the tempo. In the 56th minute, Bissouma takes a full axis corner outside the area, but his shot goes over. Two minutes later, Adama Noss Traoré is also dangerous. After having managed to make the difference on the left side, he is stopped in his attack by a good exit from the Gambian goalkeeper. On a free kick, Haïdara also finds the target, but his shot is repelled by the Scorpions goalkeeper (63rd).
The Eagles push and multiply the chances, but still can’t find the net. The issue does not occur until the 79th minute. After checking the VAR, a penalty is awarded for Mali after a foul by Gomez on Bissouma in the box. Ibrahima Koné does not tremble and transforms it, for the second time in this CAN-2022 after his goal scored against Tunisia.
While they thought victory had been won, the Malians conceded a penalty in the very last seconds of the match on a hand fault by Bissouma in the box. Gambian striker Barrow finds the skylight and equalizes for the Scorpions (90th).
Both teams missed the chance to get their ticket to the round of 16 of CAN-2022, but are in a favorable position in group F. On the last day, Gambia will face Tunisia, while Mali will be opposed to Mauritania.
Relive the match with our liveblog.