Bubacarr Sanneh headed home at the stroke of full time as Gambia’s Scorpions came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with hosts Djibouti in the first leg of the Total CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 preliminary round of qualification.
The home side which recently qualified for the group stages of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers dominated most of the match and created more chances, but will find no one to blame but themselves for failing to make the most of their home advantage.
After several glaring mistakes, the hosts got into the lead in the second half when Gambian defender Muhammed Mbye headed into his own net as he tried to cut out a cross from the edge of the box.
Djibouti continued their dominance in the second half, but could not get a second goal to cushion themselves properly. They were made to pay after 90 minutes when having given away a needless corner, failed to clear their lines and Sanneh headed home after an initial effort had been saved by the keeper.
Elsewhere, Liberia earned themselves a slim 1-0 advantage over Chad in Monrovia. Kpah Sherman scored the all important goal in the first half, tapping the ball home inside the box after a goalmouth scramble
While Liberia will only need to avoid defeat in the second leg to go through, Djibouti find themselves in a tight situation as they either have to win or force a high scoring draw to sail to the group stages of the qualifiers.
Both return leg ties will be played on Sunday.
09.10.2019 Paynesville Liberia 1-0 Chad
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09.10.2019 Belle Vue Mauritius 1-3 Sao Tome e Principe
09.10.2019 Djibouti Djibouti 1-1 Gambia