As It Happened: Gambia beat Mauritania in their first ever AFCON game

Mauritania's forward Pape Ibnou Ba (L) is challenged by Gambia's midfielder Ebou Adams during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

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19:3815 days ago

Thanks for following!

That’s the end of this live coverage of Mauritania vs Gambia in each side’s first game of Group F in the African Cup of Nations, in which Gambia got their first points on the board at Mauritania’s expense.

Thanks for joining me this evening, I’ve been Noah Robson and I’ll see you again soon here on VAVEL!

19:3815 days ago

Watch all the highlights here

18:4815 days ago

Gambia: What It Means

For Gambia, considering this was their first ever game at a major tournament (either an African Cup of Nations or a World Cup), this was an brilliant performance from them.

Tom Saintfiet’s side looked like the stronger team for the vast majority of the game and he will be pleased by the defensive resilience they did show when they were under pressure.

It puts them in a great position in Group F as they are joint-top of the group alongside Mali, who they are scheduled to play on Sunday on the second match day.

(FromL) Back row: Gambia's players, midfielder Sulayman Marreh, forward Assan Ceesay, defender Omar Colley defender James Gomez, midfielder Ebou Adams; Front row: defender Pa Modou Jagne, defender Ibou Touray, goalkeeper Modou Jobe, midfielder Ablie Jallow, forward Ebrima Colley and midfielder Musa Barrow pose before the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
(FromL) Back row: Gambia's players, midfielder Sulayman Marreh, forward Assan Ceesay, defender Omar Colley defender James Gomez, midfielder Ebou Adams; Front row: defender Pa Modou Jagne, defender Ibou Touray, goalkeeper Modou Jobe, midfielder Ablie Jallow, forward Ebrima Colley and midfielder Musa Barrow pose before the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
18:4615 days ago

Mauritania: What It Means

As for Mauritania, this was a thoroughly disappointing opening game to this year’s African Cup of Nations for them, especially considering they were the more experienced side heading into this one.

In all fairness, they couldn’t do a whole lot about the opening goal, it simply being a wonderful strike from Jallow, but they rarely offered anything in attack themselves either.

They will need to find a way to create more going forwards in time for their next game against Tunisia else their tournament hopes will look very thin indeed.

(FromL) Back row: Mauritania's players, goalkeeper Babacar Diop, forward Pape Ibnou Ba, defender El Hassen Houebib, midfielder Abdallahi Mahmoud, midfielder Guessouma Fofana, midfielder Mohamed Yali Dellahi forward Aboubakar Kamara; (front row): defender Abdoulkader Thiam, midfielder Almike Moussa N'Diaye, defender Aly Abeid and defender Souleymane Karamoko pose before the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
(FromL) Back row: Mauritania's players, goalkeeper Babacar Diop, forward Pape Ibnou Ba, defender El Hassen Houebib, midfielder Abdallahi Mahmoud, midfielder Guessouma Fofana, midfielder Mohamed Yali Dellahi forward Aboubakar Kamara; (front row): defender Abdoulkader Thiam, midfielder Almike Moussa N'Diaye, defender Aly Abeid and defender Souleymane Karamoko pose before the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
18:4515 days ago

The best photos from the match

Here are the best four...
Gammbia's supporters react before the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Gammbia's supporters react before the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Gambia's midfielder Ablie Jallow (backR) reacts after scoring his team's first goal during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Gambia's midfielder Ablie Jallow (backR) reacts after scoring his team's first goal during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Mauritania's defender Souleymane Karamoko (L) eyes the ball past Gambia's midfielder Musa Barrow during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Mauritania's defender Souleymane Karamoko (L) eyes the ball past Gambia's midfielder Musa Barrow during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Mauritania's forward Aboubakar Kamara reacts during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Mauritania's forward Aboubakar Kamara reacts during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
18:4315 days ago

All the stats from the game

Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Shots: 14-7

On Target: 2-3

Possession: 62%-38%

Corners: 5-4

Fouls: 16-13

Yellow Cards: 2-3

18:4215 days ago

An historic moment

18:4215 days ago

Match Summary

Gambia won their first ever game at the African Cup of Nations against Mauritania, thanks to an early goal from Adlie Jallow, which puts them joint-top of Group F after the first group stage match day.

It was an excellent start for The Scorpions, as Jallow fired a brilliant strike from distance into the net to put his side ahead with just 10 minutes on the clock.

The tournament debutants then defended resolutely for the remainder of the first half, preventing Mauritania from getting any clear sights of goal and they went in ahead at the break.

After the interval, there wasn’t a huge amount of action or indeed chances for either side, with Gambia doing a good job of nullifying their opponents until the referee blew for full time, giving them the victory.

18:4015 days ago

Player of the Match: Ablie Jallow

After his absolutely incredible goal in the first half, just ten minutes into his country’s first ever game at an African Cup of Nations tournament, there can only be one candidate for player of the match.

Ablie Jallow’s strike was so pinpoint and accurate it flew into the Mauritania net, and the distance from which it was struck makes it all the more impressive too.

Gambia's midfielder Ablie Jallow (front) is challenged by Mauritania's midfielder Almike Moussa N'Diaye during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Gambia's midfielder Ablie Jallow (front) is challenged by Mauritania's midfielder Almike Moussa N'Diaye during the Group F Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Mauritania and Gambia at Limbe Omnisport Stadium in Limbe on January 12, 2022. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)
18:3915 days ago

FULL TIME: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

And with that the referee blows for full time in this one, prompting celebrations from the Gambian bench as they win their opening game at AFCON in their debut game in the competition.

The first half had a quick start from Gambia, as Ablie Jallow unleashed a brilliant strike from outside the box to give his side the lead, which they kept throughout the opening 45 minutes.

It was a relatively quiet second half as Gambia looked to hold onto their lead, and while they might have had more had it not been for Diop in the Mauritania net, they will certainly be happy with the win in the end.

18:3715 days ago

90+2: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Barrow shoots from outside the box but yet again Diop saves his side and pushes the ball out for a corner, which is cleared away.
18:3615 days ago

90: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

A couple of yellow cards here as we enter injury time for Darboe and Jallow.

Not much time left now.

18:3415 days ago

89: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Incredible!

Diop once again produces an incredible save after Gambia went on the counter attack from that aforementioned free kick, preventing Darboe from taking the ball round him for an open goal.

18:3315 days ago

89: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Another free kick for Mauritania from the left hand side of the box which this time is taken by Fofana but Jobe punches the ball away to safety.
18:3015 days ago

86: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Excellent goalkeeping from Diop after Gambia break through on goal via Dembo Darboe - he got down quickly to prevent what would've surely been a winner.
18:2615 days ago

82: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Mauritania are running out of time here if they want to find an equaliser.

There has been various substitutions throughout this half though, so you'd expect some added time at the end of the 90 minutes too.

18:2115 days ago

77: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

There is a VAR check for handball going on here after that free kick, but play has continued here and it seems there's nothing doing.
18:2015 days ago

76: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Mauritania win a free kick in a dangerous position on the left hand side of the penalty area which Lamin Jallow takes but it's blocked by the two-man wall.
18:1715 days ago

73: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Colley injects some pace on the wing before firing in a cross but it is perhaps a touch too powerful if anything and doesn't find a Gambia player.
18:1415 days ago

69: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

It's been a relatively quiet second half here, with Gambia happy to hold onto their lead at the moment, and Mauritania not offering much threat.
18:0915 days ago

65: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Chance for Mauritania as Pape Ba jumps up for a header but he can't quite reach it properly and it goes out for a goal kick.
18:0515 days ago

61: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Fofana attempts a wild shot from the edge of the box but it goes absolutely miles over the bar.

They're going to need to do better than that.

18:0215 days ago

58: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Another set piece for Gambia but it's once again cleared by Mauritania, albeit fairly desperately.

Colley then cuts inside after getting free inside the box but his shot flies wide.

They'll hope that they don't go onto rue that, and many other, missed chances.

17:5915 days ago

55: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Not a whole host of action to report on here as both sides look for a way to bypass their opposition's defence.
17:5615 days ago

52: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Gambia win a free kick near the sideline and the cross is swung in but somehow Colley misses the target with his header.

Big chance for Gambia there.

17:5315 days ago

49: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

It's Gambia who have once again looked like the better side in the early stages of the second half here.

They have pressed high again and win a corner, which is  headed towards goal by Marreh, but it narrowly misses the target.

17:5015 days ago

46: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

We're back underway here at the Limbe Stadium, with Gambia getting us going and they'll be hoping to keep their lead for the rest of this game.
17:4515 days ago

Half time statistics

Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Shots: 8-3

On Target: 1-2

Possession: 62%-38%

Corners: 5-1

Fouls: 7-5

Yellow Cards: 2-0

17:3915 days ago

A selection of great fans

17:3315 days ago

HALF TIME: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

And just like that, we reach the end of the first half as the referee blows his whistle.

It's Gambia who have the lead, after an excellent goal from Jallow around 10 minutes in, but there's still a long way to go until they can potentially celebrate a debut win.

17:3215 days ago

45: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

It's just begun to rain at the game after a very warm first half, which will be welcome relief to the players.
17:2715 days ago

41: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Yet another opportunity goes off target for Mauritania, this time as Houeibib's attempted swivel and shot goes over the bar.
17:2415 days ago

38: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Another chance for Mauritania as this time Kamara gets the ball in the box but once again the shot skews far too wide of the goal.
17:2315 days ago

36: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

A well-worked move by Mauritania ends with Ba having a shot from the centre of the box but it's blocked by a Gambia defender.

They're getting closer and closer here.

17:1915 days ago

32: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Jobe thinks he's been fouled but the referee thinks the goalkeeper was playing for it so lets the game continue but Ba wastes the chance by firing over the bar.

Should've done better there.

17:1715 days ago

30: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Another caution, this time for N'Diaye after a cynical challenge on Adams to prevent Gambia from going on a potentially dangerous counter attack.
17:1515 days ago

29: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

It's a yellow card for Pape Ba for an elbow on James Gomez so the striker will have to be careful for the rest of this game.
17:1215 days ago

26: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

A cheeky attempt from Kamara as he gets the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area but it flies wide of the post.

Mauritania are getting close though.

17:0915 days ago

23: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Karamoko gets in a good position in the Gambia penalty area but his cross avoids everyone in the box and eventually Mauritania give away a free kick to allow the game to slow down again.
17:0715 days ago

21: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Almike N'Diaye attempts an audacious shot from the edge of the penalty area but shanks it and it ends up going out for a throw-in.

He won't want to see that one again.

17:0415 days ago

18: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

It's Gambia who have had by far the better of the opening 15 minutes or so, against what many might have expected given each team's rankings.

Mauritania have shown very little threat themselves so far, but there's still plenty of time to go.

17:0215 days ago

15: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

Mauritania have a corner which is swung in and headed back across goal, but the keeper punches clear and there is no harm done.
16:5815 days ago

GOAL!: Mauritania 0-1 Gambia

What a goal!

Gambia have been putting pressure on Mauritania for the whole of these opening minutes, and it's stolen back by Gambia, before the ball comes to Ablie Jallow and he unleashes a strike from the edge of the box.

Great finish.

16:5415 days ago

8: Mauritania 0-0 Gambia

Gambia win the first corner of the game but it's claimed by  Babacar Diop who holds on comfortably.
16:5315 days ago

6: Mauritania 0-0 Gambia

There might not be a huge crowd, but it must be said that the fans who are in the stadium are making a tremendous noise.

Let's hope that transfers onto the players on the pitch.

16:5115 days ago

4: Mauritania 0-0 Gambia

Mauritania go forwards for the first time but the shot is dragged wide and doesn't trouble Jobe in the Gambia net.
16:4915 days ago

2: Mauritania 0-0 Gambia

First chance pf the game goes to Gambia as they work it forwards well but it's cleared away by Mauritania.

Promising from the tournament debutants though.

16:4715 days ago

KICK-OFF: Mauritania 0-0 Gambia

At long, long last, we are underway here at the Limbe Stadium, and it's Mauritania who get us going, with them kicking from left to right in this first half.
16:4215 days ago

Teams emerging onto pitch

Both sides have now come out onto the pitch and the game is set to begin (finally) very shortly now.
16:3615 days ago

A big moment for both sides

16:2915 days ago

15 minutes until kick-off!

*We think* there's only 15 minutes to go until this one gets underway, but of course if there's any change to that we'll let you know.

Stay right here for all the latest updates!

16:2215 days ago

Reminder:Gambia: New kids on the block

And here's a little on what it means for Gambia heading into this one...

In terms of Mauritania’s opposition on Wednesday, it comes in the form of another inexperienced team in terms of major tournaments, that being Gambia who are set to play in their first ever African Cup of Nations this month, in a big moment for football in the country.

At the time of the qualifying draw being announced, they were ranked 46th of out the 52 teams entering the initial stage, putting them as firm underdogs whichever group they were drawn into - in fact, they even had to play a preliminary round which most avoided, due to the fact they were in the lowest pot.

Impressively though, they got past that and went onto top their group based on goals scored above Gabon, despite having the fifth best African team in the world (according to FIFA’s rankings) in their group - DR Congo.

Therefore, while they aren’t expected to progress quite as far as some of their competitors during this year’s AFCON, they will be excited to play in such a big competition for the first time with Belgian manager Tom Saintfiet at the helm.

Embed from Getty Images

16:1515 days ago

Reminder: Mauritania: Looking to make an impact

Here's what the situation looks like for Mauritania...

For Mauritania, this is only the second time in their entire history that they have got past the qualifying stage for the tournament, in order to play in the finals, the first being in the previous African Cup of Nations, which was held in Egypt back in 2019.

They qualified out of a fairly tough group, including the likes of the Central African Republic and Morocco - one of the teams who some have even touted to potentially go all the way an lift the trophy come the end of the tournament.

That said, they’ve not been in the best form since that qualification, with them currently sitting bottom of their World Cup Qualifying group, having only picked up two points from six games thus far.

For a team 103rd in FIFA’s international mens’ teams rankings though, they are certainly not doing too badly, and will want to open only their second AFCON with all three points if possible.

AL WAKRAH, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Players of Mauritania pose for a team photograph prior to the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Group B match between Syria and Mauritania at Al Janoub Stadium on December 06, 2021 in Al Wakrah, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
AL WAKRAH, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Players of Mauritania pose for a team photograph prior to the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Group B match between Syria and Mauritania at Al Janoub Stadium on December 06, 2021 in Al Wakrah, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

 

16:0815 days ago

Gambia arrive earlier...

16:0115 days ago

Kick off delayed

Word is coming through now that kick-off in this one has been delayed, owing to the problems with the previous game a little earlier.

4:45 PM GMT has been rumoured to be the new kick-off time, so stay right here for all the latest updates!

15:5415 days ago

Not long to go...

There's now just over five minutes to go until this game gets underway, so let's just hope it's not as confusing and ridiculous as the one that has preceded it.

Just to be clear, Mali won that game 1-0 and so now lead the group with three points, so either of these two teams can go top with a win by a margin of greater than one goal.

15:4715 days ago

Team News!

The teams are in from both sides and kick off is now approaching at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon, following an almost unbelievable set of events in the previous game between Tunisia and Mali. 
15:4015 days ago

Mauritania vs Gambia underway soon!

Forget the previous post, this game should be on very soon!

Madness.

15:3315 days ago

Absolutely unbelievable

This game might be delayed now...
15:2615 days ago

Truly Astonishing Scenes

15:1915 days ago

Chaos in Limbe

There's some astonishing news coming out of the other game in this group between Tunisia and Mali, also taking place at the Limbe Stadium right now.

The game should have finished some time ago now, but there has been some confusion over the referee blowing the full time whistle multiple occasions it appears.

More as we get it.

15:1215 days ago

Group E Games

And finally, in Group E, there has only been one game so far in which tournament favourites Algeria surprisingly drew 0-0 against Sierra Leone yesterday.

The other match in that group - Ivory Coast vs Equatorial Guinea - is scheduled to get underway at 7:00 PM GMT later today.

15:0515 days ago

Team News coming soon

I would ordinarily be bringing you team news from this game, but there appears to have been a slight delay, and we'll bring you more on that in a moment, but first let's finish off the tournament summary so far...
14:5815 days ago

Group D Games

Moving onto Group D now, and it was Nigeria who won their opening game against Egypt in one of the biggest games of the tournament so far, given the calibre of the teams involved.

In the other game, it was a stalemate between Guinea-Bissau and Sudan, and a fairly dull one at that as the game ended 0-0.

14:5115 days ago

Group C Games

With another 1-0 scoreline, Gabon beat the tiny nation of Comoros in Group C, thanks to a relatively early strike in the 16th minute, but they were unable to add to that tally for the rest of the game.

Once more it was a 1-0 win in the other game in this group, this time as Morocco beat Ghana after a goal in the 83rd minute, which gave them all three points in their opening game.

14:4415 days ago

Group B Games

The next game came on Monday, when Guinea played Malawi in Group B, and it was the former who won that one, by a scoreline of 1-0, after a goal from Issiaga Sylla in the first half.

In terms of the other game in the group, it was the same scoreline but in far more dramatic fashion, as a last minute penalty from Sadio Mane meant Senegal beat Zimbabwe 1-0, also on Monday.

14:3715 days ago

Group A Games

It was the hosts who got off to a good start in the opening game, as they beat Burkina Faso 2-1, coming from behind via two penalties just before the half time whistle, keeping that lead until full time.

The other game in that group, between Ethiopia and Cape Verde, saw the latter beat their opponents 1-0, in a game that changed in complexion after a red card for Ethiopia in the 12th minute.

14:3015 days ago

Welcome!

Good afternoon and welcome to this live coverage of the African Cup of Nations group stage match between Mauritania and Gambia, taking place at the Limbe Stadium in Cameroon.

We’ll have team news from both sides with you in around half an hour’s time, but first of all let’s run through all the results so far from the tournament since it began on Sunday evening.

16:3116 days ago

Tune in here for Mauritania vs Gambia

That’s the end of this pre-live section to this African Cup of Nations game in Group F ahead of tomorrow’s opening game at this tournament for both of these teams.

Do not miss a detail of the match Mauritania vs Gambia live updates and commentaries of VAVEL.

Embed from Getty Images

16:2616 days ago

What time does the game kick-off across the world?

India: 9:30 PM

South Africa: 6:00 PM

Australia (Sydney): 3:00 AM

Japan: 1:00 AM

USA (New York): 11:00 AM

 

 

16:2116 days ago

What time does the game kick-off?

This match, along with all others in the AFCON tournament, will be broadcast live on Sky Sports for those who are based in the UK, with coverage beginning at 3:55 PM GMT.

Kick-off itself is set to be at 4:00 PM GMT, with the other game in their group - Tunisia vs Mali - being played a little earlier on Wednesday at 1:00 PM GMT, also at the Limbe Stadium.

16:1616 days ago

Mauritania vs Gambia Prediction

As is the case in so many major tournaments which take place on all continents around the world every two or four years, every game comes with a degree of prestige for simply getting to this stage.

As such, this one is expected to be hard-fought from both sides, especially due to the fact neither can take this opportunity for granted with their lack of recent qualification.

Therefore, with each team likely to be desperate to win the game, I think they will end up cancelling each other out, and this one will end in a draw, meaning I’m going with 2-2 for the final score.

16:1116 days ago

Latest games between Mauritania and Gambia

These two teams have gone up against one another a total of 20 times in their history, although it must be pointed out that eight of these games have been in non-competitive friendlies.

Looking at their recent matchups - the most recent of which came in March 2016 - it has been fairly even between them, drawing 0-0 the last time they met one another.

Prior to that, Mauritania came out 2-1 winners, with multiple international friendlies being the only meetings before then, though it’s worth noting Gambia were unbeaten in all of those games.

16:0616 days ago

Key Player from Gambia - Assan Ceesay

Sticking with the striker theme in terms of the players to watch, there can only really be one choice when it comes to Gambia, that being 27-year-old forward Assan Ceesay.

Currently at Swiss club FC Zurich - where he has made 103 appearances and scored 32 goals - he is undoubtedly The Scorpions most dangerous player going forwards.

Also, as mentioned a little earlier, he is his country’s top scorer of all time, and he will want to add to that prestigious accolade in one of the biggest games in the nation’s history.

Embed from Getty Images

16:0116 days ago

Key Player from Mauritania - Adama Ba

From Mauritania, with the absence of all-time top goalscorer Bessam from the squad, the attack will look to lean on 28-year-old Adama Ba instead.

He has played at eight clubs during his now 11-year career, including in the French top flight with Brest as well as various clubs in Turkey during that time too.

For his country, he has scored an impressive six goals, though it has been a little while since his last goal, so the Lions of Chinguetti will hope he can find some form for their opening fixture.

Embed from Getty Images

15:5616 days ago

Probable line-ups of Gambia

Team News of Gambia
  • Gambia head into the tournament with their all-time leading appearance maker, Pa Modou Janne
  • They too have a relatively youthful group of players set to take part in the Cameroon tournament
  • Up front, they will hope that Assan Ceesay remains fit, him being the side’s all-time leading goalscorer

Predicted XI

Jobe; Sundberg, Colley, Sanneh, Jagne; Marreh, Sohna, Mbye, Trawally; Barrow, Ceesay

15:5116 days ago

Probable line-ups of Mauritania

Team News of Mauritania
  • Mauritania have a young squad to choose from, which includes 16-year-old Beyatt Lekweiry
  • Perhaps the most notable player to English readers will be Aboubakar Kamara, previously of Fulham
  • There are no injury concerns in particular, though there has been various reports of COVID-19 cases among some national team camps

Predicted XI

Diop; Abeid, Diarra, Houbeibib, Karamoko; Yali, Fofana; Coulibaly, Doukara, Ba; Kamara

15:4616 days ago

Who is the referee and his assistants?

The referee for Mauritania vs Gambia will be Bernard Camille, with his assistants beingJames Fredrick Emile and Atezambong Fomo Carine.

On fourth official duties will be Blaise Yuven Ngwa, while in VAR it’s set to beMustapha Ghorbal with Etchiali Abdelhak as his assistant.

15:4116 days ago

Gambia: New kids on the block

In terms of Mauritania’s opposition on Wednesday, it comes in the form of another inexperienced team in terms of major tournaments, that being Gambia who are set to play in their first ever African Cup of Nations this month, in a big moment for football in the country.

At the time of the qualifying draw being announced, they were ranked 46th of out the 52 teams entering the initial stage, putting them as firm underdogs whichever group they were drawn into - in fact, they even had to play a preliminary round which most avoided, due to the fact they were in the lowest pot.

Impressively though, they got past that and went onto top their group based on goals scored above Gabon, despite having the fifth best African team in the world (according to FIFA’s rankings) in their group - DR Congo.

Therefore, while they aren’t expected to progress quite as far as some of their competitors during this year’s AFCON, they will be excited to play in such a big competition for the first time with Belgian manager Tom Saintfiet at the helm.

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15:3616 days ago

Mauritania: Looking to make an impact

For Mauritania, this is only the second time in their entire history that they have got past the qualifying stage for the tournament, in order to play in the finals, the first being in the previous African Cup of Nations, which was held in Egypt back in 2019.

They qualified out of a fairly tough group, including the likes of the Central African Republic and Morocco - one of the teams who some have even touted to potentially go all the way an lift the trophy come the end of the tournament.

That said, they’ve not been in the best form since that qualification, with them currently sitting bottom of their World Cup Qualifying group, having only picked up two points from six games thus far.

For a team 103rd in FIFA’s international mens’ teams rankings though, they are certainly not doing too badly, and will want to open only their second AFCON with all three points if possible.

AL WAKRAH, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Players of Mauritania pose for a team photograph prior to the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Group B match between Syria and Mauritania at Al Janoub Stadium on December 06, 2021 in Al Wakrah, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
AL WAKRAH, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Players of Mauritania pose for a team photograph prior to the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Group B match between Syria and Mauritania at Al Janoub Stadium on December 06, 2021 in Al Wakrah, Qatar. (Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

 

15:3116 days ago

The match will be played at Limbe Stadium

The Mauritania vs Gambia match will be played at Limbe Stadium, in Limbe, Cameroon, with a capacity of 20,000 people.

It’s the smallest of the six stadiums being used for the tournament, but also perhaps the most unique, being one of few grounds in the world built on a hill, giving a great sea view.

15:2616 days ago

Welcome to VAVEL.com's live coverage of the 2022 African Cup of Nations match: Mauritania vs Gambia live updates!

My name is Noah Robson and I'll be your host for this game. We will provide you with pre-game analysis, score updates, and news as it happens live here on VAVEL.

It’s a first game for each of these teams at this year’s tournament, as they bid to get points on the board in Group F, with Mali and Tunisia also in their group, looking to get to the knockout stages.

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