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HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsChampions Senegal Start AFCON With Easy Win Over Gambia

Champions Senegal Start AFCON With Easy Win Over Gambia

Top-ranked side Senegal started their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast 2023 with a 3-0 win over The Gambia at Charles Konan Banny de Yamoussoukro Stadium on Monday.  

Pape Gueye, who plies his trade at Marseille in France, drilled home in just the fourth minute after the game had started.  

To get the second, Senegal, who were on top of Gambia, had to wait until the second half as Lamine Camara doubled the lead in the 52nd minute, picking up the ball from Ismaila Sarr before powering at the far post. 

Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson should have made it three for the Teranga Lions, who are fancied to go all the way in this competition, but Baboucarr Gaye spread his body big to foil him in the 70th minute.    

Camara netted his second, curling home the goal of the game in the 86th minute after Cheikh Ndiaye showed incredible skills to get away before setting up his national teammates.

The Gambia were making their second successive AFCON finals appearance, after stunning many three years ago in Cameroon where they reached the quarter-finals, losing to hosts Indomitable Lions.  

Coach Tom Saintfiet, the former Free State Stars coach, was in charge of that historic feat for the small West African nation. But he cut a forlorn figure on this occasion.

While on that occasion they started the tournament with a win against lowly Mauritania, this was a different side they were facing this time altogether.    

Aliou Cisse’s side settled quickly in this contest with Gueye bending down his body up to beat Gaye in the fourth minute.  

It was a brilliant pick-up by Sadio Mane to release Gueye, who was scoring his first goal for his country.  

It was going to be a hard slog for Gambia to get something from Senegal, who have, not only won two of their last four matches against Gambia but came to this game having not lost in their previous seven matches at AFCON.  

The last loss was in the 2019 edition final in Egypt on penalty shootouts to Algeria. 

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The Gambia matched Senegal with physicality but Senegal’s cream in quality always shone through as they are a powerful side, not only in Africa but in the world.  

The Gambia made things easy for Senegal as Ebou Adams was red-carded for the violent conduct in the referee’s added time in the first half. 

But when Senegal doubled their lead they took the game away from the Scorpions, before adding the third later in the game to wrap it up.   

The game became a stop-start affair with water breaks due to the humidity and subs, but as the saying goes, Senegal’s cream rose to the top, to topple The Gambia.

iDiski Times
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