A hard-fought 1-0 victory over Gambia has put Guinea within touching distance of a place in the last 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Aguibou Camara’s second-half strike was the difference on Friday, lifting Kaba Diawara’s side up to second in Group C after two games.
Camara’s winner came in the 77th minute, when he stabbed home Morgan Guilavogui’s pass to send the Syli National into raptures. The goal was just reward for a dominant performance from Guinea, who controlled the game from start to finish.
Guinea could have doubled their lead on several occasions, with Mohamed Bayo twice going close. The Le Havre forward first curled a shot against the crossbar from Guilavogui’s low cross, before seeing a header tipped over by Baboucarr Gaye.
The Gambia offered little in attack, failing to register a shot on target throughout the game. Their best chance came in the 80th minute, when Yankuba Minteh thought he had leveled the score, only to see his goal ruled out for offside.
The result means that Guinea need only avoid defeat against Cameroon in their final group game on Tuesday to secure a place in the knockout stages. Even if they lose, they will still be guaranteed a place in the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams if Cameroon does not win against The Gambia in the simultaneous decider.
For Gambia, the dream of reaching the knockout stages for the first time is all but over. They can only qualify if they beat Cameroon on Tuesday, but even then, their fate will depend on the results of other matches in the group.
Guinea’s Win a Sign of Progress
Guinea’s victory over Gambia is a sign of the progress that the team has made in recent years. They have now reached the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time in a row, and they are looking to go even further this year.
The team is led by a talented squad of players, including the likes of Naby Keita, Mohamed Bayo, and Aguibou Camara. These players have all played at the highest level in Europe, and they are bringing their experience to bear on the continental stage.
Guinea’s success is also due to the work of head coach Kaba Diawara. Diawara has been in charge of the team since 2019, and he has quickly made his mark. He has instilled a sense of belief in the players, and he has them playing an attractive, attacking brand of football.
With one game remaining in the group stage, Guinea’s fate is in their own hands. If they can avoid defeat against Cameroon on Tuesday, they will be guaranteed a place in the last 16. And who knows, maybe they can even go on to challenge for the trophy.
Gambia’s Dream Fades
For Gambia, the dream of reaching the knockout stages for the first time is all but over. They have lost their first two games, and they need a miracle to qualify.
Even if they beat Cameroon on Tuesday, their fate will depend on the results of other matches in the group. They could still finish as one of the four best third-placed teams, but that would require a number of other results to go their way.
Gambia’s performance against Guinea was disappointing. They failed to create many chances, and they never looked like they were going to win the game.
The team’s best player was goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye, who made a number of good saves to keep Guinea at bay. However, even Gaye’s heroics were not enough to prevent Gambia from slipping to defeat.
Gambia’s manager Tom Saintfiet will need to pick his players up for their final game against Cameroon. They need to win to have any hope of qualifying, and they will need to perform much better than they did against Guinea.
A Tight Group C
Group C is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in the Africa Cup of Nations. With one game to go, all four teams are still in with a chance of qualifying for the last 16.
Guinea are in the driving seat, but they cannot afford to take anything for granted against Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions are a talented team, and they will be desperate to make amends for their defeat to Senegal.
Gambia are the outsiders, but they cannot be ruled out. If they can beat Cameroon, they will give themselves a chance of qualifying as one of the four best third-placed teams.
The final game in Group C promises to be a thriller. All four teams are fighting