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Saturday, 20 January 2024 06:19

Camara shoots Guinea to narrow victory over Gambia.

By Ben Miller.

Guinea beat Gambia 1-0 in Group C clash to move to the brink of a place in the last 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium.

Aguibou Camara scored the second-half winner, stabbing in Morgan Guilavogui's pass to lift Kaba Diawara's side up to second in Group C after two games.

Mohamed Bayo almost doubled the lead, lifting a shot against the crossbar from Guilavogui's low cross.

Yankuba Minteh thought he had levelled for the Scorpions with 10 minutes left, but the offside flag was up.

The result prevented Senegal from winning the group with a game to spare after the holders made it two wins out of two  by beating Cameroon 3-1 earlier on Friday.

Guinea, who held Cameroon on Monday and have four points, must avoid defeat to guarantee a top-two spot when the two West African sides meet on Tuesday (17:00 GMT).

Diawara's men will be guaranteed to reach the last 16 for a third successive Afcon finals if Cameroon do not win against The Gambia in the simultaneous decider.

Gambians lack finishing touch

Le Havre forward Bayo went closest before the break, curling a shot under goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye's dive and against the right-hand post from the edge of the box.

In a first half of little attacking incision, Guinea also threatened on the stroke of half-time when Gaye spilled Bayo's header into the path of Guilavogui before claiming the latter's attempt to prod in from close range.

Shortly after half-time, Gaye was in action again to divert Sekou Sylla's arrowed finish behind with an outstretched leg from a tight angle inside a crowded penalty area.

Minteh thought he had drawn The Gambia level when he held off James Gomez to slot in, only for the forward's neat finish to be ruled out.

That effort from the teenage substitute, who is on loan at Dutch side Feyenoord from Newcastle United, was as close as the Scorpions came during a match in which they failed to produce a shot on target.

Ablie Jallow smashed a volley from Musa Barrow's deep cross into the Guinea side-netting with five minutes left and Gambian keeper Gaye rescued his side from conceding a second during added time by stopping Facinet Conte's drive, with Naby Keita unable to capitalise on the rebound.

Serhou Guirassy, the second-top scorer in the Bundesliga, was back on the bench for Guinea after a thigh injury but was an unused substitute.

The Gambia manager Tom Saintfiet had made five changes to his starting XI, including an Afcon debut for Wrexham wideman Jacob Mendy, while midfielder Ebou Adams was suspended as a result of his dismissal in their opening 3-0 defeat by Senegal.

Saintfiet's players know that only victory against five-time champions Cameroon will give them hope of progressing as one of the four best third-placed teams in Ivory Coast.