January 21, (THEWILL) – Gambia won a tense 1-0 match against Tunisia via a spectacular 93rd-minute strike from Ablie Jallow, despite the fact that both teams had already qualified for the final 16 of the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mali, who beat Mauritania 2-0, leapfrogged Gambia for first place in Group F, and will face Guinea in the round of 16, while Tunisia will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The game, which remained deadlocked for the whole length of regulation time, was boring. Although it had lots of chances, there were few notable ones, with Tunisia’s Ali Abdi coming closest in the early stages with a deflected attempt that flew just wide of the near post.
On 41 minutes, Ellyes Skhiri hit the far post with a well-struck shot as one of highlights of the first period.
Then, Tunisia was awarded a penalty when Seifeddine Jaziri was tripped by Pa Modou just before the interval. Tunisia had missed their first two penalties kicks of the competition and it became three as Jaziri’s spot-kick was saved by Baboucarr Gaye well down to his right.
When the half-time whistle blew, both sides’ enraged reactions as they walked off the pitch led to referee Fernando Guerrero Ramirez issuing Tunisia’s substitute goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha with a straight red card.
Gambia showed a bit more intent in the second half, with Jallow shooting wide and Musa Barrow hitting the woodwork with a fierce free-kick, but it took until the final seconds of stoppage time for the Scorpions to break the deadlock, as Jallow took down a cross from the left and fired the ball hard and high past Bechir Ben Said to win it for Gambia.