An own goal by Tanguy Zoukrou and superb finishing by Mamin Sanyang in both halves see the Gambia into the knockout rounds of the FIFA U20 World Cup in their second appearance.
Wilson Odobert had drawn one for France a few minutes after captain Alagie Saine saw his spot kick saved by Yann Lienard, but Sanyang’s goal will save the day for the young scorpions.
France showed great character in the first ten minutes, dictating the game upfront through striker Florent Da Silva, but lacked precision in finishing.
The pressure of searching for an early opener will cause Keeper Yann to commit a blunder in the penalty area. In the course of passing to his defender, his cross will be picked up by Adama Bojang, whose shot will be deviated into the box by Yann and Zoukrou.
An opener that will deflate the confidence of the French, motivating Abdoulie Bojang’s men to push for a second.
In the 56th minute, Florent Da Silva will be booked for roughly stepping on Bakary Jawara in the 18-yard box, with the ref pointing to the penalty spot.
Captain Alagie Saine will step up to take the penalty, sending it in goalkeeper Yann Lienard’s direction. This huge save seemed to have breathed life into the young blues, who looked more composed in their pressing.
A freekick won in the 61st minute will be properly executed by Da Silva, whose long cross will connect to Wilson Odobert on the left flank, heading home the much-desired equalizer for France.
Landry Chauvin will halt his four substitutions for some minutes but will change his mind seconds later to introduce Antoine Joujou, Warren Bondo,Thérence Ange Koudou, and Alexis Tibidi.
These four changes will add some fluidity on the flanks, with Bando and Joujou causing the Gambian defense to work for their money.
Sayang will, however, break through thanks to a quick set piece by Haruna Rasid Njie, displaying some great skills before netting the second for Gambia.
All efforts to draw the game to parity will be fruitless, as the Gambia now takes the lead in group F with six points.
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