Towering striker Muhammed Badamosi was the hero for The Gambia on Sunday in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying as the Scorpions stormed back from a two-goal deficit to draw the Republic of Congo 2-2 and clinch qualification for the finals in Ivory Coast. Badamosi came on as a substitute to assist the first goal and score the late equalizer in a sensational second half revival. After qualifying for their first-ever AFCON in 2021, The Gambia will make it a second consecutive appearance following Sunday’s result.
It was a subdued environment in Marrakesh, Morocco where The Gambia hosted their home fixtures due to the lack of a suitable home venue. Needing a victory to overtake their hosts for qualification, Congo showed the necessary urgency and snatched the lead in the 30th minute through Gaius Makouta who scored from close range after collecting a cross from Prestige Mboungou.
A moment of controversy was followed by a second goal for the Congolese that was scored from the penalty spot by Silvère Ganvoula after a highly disputed handball was called against Gambian captain Omar Colley. After halftime Congo nearly scored a third but Béni Makouana somehow put his shot off the post of an empty goal after going around Gambia goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye.
That was the moment of fortune the Gambians needed. Halftime substitutes Ablie Jallow and debutant Yankuba Minteh were later joined by Badamosi to put the sting back in the tail of the Scorpions and after sustained pressure it was Minteh who cut the deficit in half with an easy finish from Badamosi’s flick-on header. Badamosi then provided the crucial equalizer in stoppage time with a bouncing header from Musa Barrow’s cross that just snuck past Congolese keeper Pavelh Ndzila.
The Gambia join group winners Mali as the teams to qualify out of Group G. Highlights of the match are below.
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