Mauritania vs Gambia - LIVE!
The second game of Group F gets underway on Wednesday afternoon as Gambia make their Africa Cup of Nations debut.
While the tournament has certainly been enjoyable thus far, it’d be fair to say the goals are yet to come. Only since the opener have we seen more than one goal scored, perhaps indicative of the lack of preparation many teams had due to the Covid pandemic and the fact European teams were able to keep a hold of their players for so long.
Indeed, anyone looking for goals in this one might be disappointed, although Sierra Leone’s shock draw with Algeria does offer some hope of some nice surprises.
It will be fascinating to see how Gambia adapt to life on the grandest stage of African football, while Mauritania will surely look to improve on their 2019 AFCON showing.
Follow all of the action LIVE with Standard Sport’s match blog.
Mauritania vs Gambia latest news
GOAL! Jallow gives Gambia an early lead
Kick-off time and venue: 4pm GMT, Limbe Omnisport Stadium
How to watch today’s action: Sky Sports Premier League
Mauritania team news: Kamara leads the line
Gambia team news: First ever AFCON appearance
18:39 , Matt Verri
Mauritania 0-1 Gambia
It’s a first ever AFCON win for Gambia. Jallow’s first-half strike proves to be the winner... a famous goal and a famous win for his country.
18:38 , Matt Verri
90+2 mins: Barrow thinks he’s doubled the lead with a great strike from range, but it’s well saved. A corner is just as good for Gambia though.
Seconds tick awa
18:34 , Matt Verri
89 mins: Wonderful goalkeeping from Diop!
Gambia were bursting forward with numbers and looked to be clean through, but Diop comes flying out and slides in to win it back for his side. Darboe though he was clean through.
18:33 , Matt Verri
88 mins: Will this be third time lucky? Thiam brought down and it is in an almost identical spot to the previous two free-kicks. We’ve had one into the wall and one over the bar so far.
It’s Fofana’s turn to try his luck. It’s the best of a bad bunch, but Jobe can punch it away.
18:31 , Matt Verri
86 mins: Great run from Darboe into the box for Gambia. Beats the last defender but it’s a heavy touch, and Diop can come rushing out of his goal to claim.
Had to get that right, wasn’t far away from being a penalty.
18:29 , Matt Verri
84 mins: Free-kick again for Mauritania, in a very similar position to where Thiam hammered one into the wall.
Ba has taken over the responsibility this time. It’s not into the wall... but it is miles over the bar. His teammates in the box do not look impressed with that.
18:26 , Matt Verri
80 mins: Another attacking change from Mauritania. 10 minutes left, and they’ve got nothing to lose.
Only ever scored one AFCON goal. They need to at least double that tally in what is remaining of this match.
18:22 , Matt Verri
77 mins: Long VAR check, but eventually decided that there’s no handball.
That was a nervy wait for Gambia... they survive the replays though.
18:20 , Matt Verri
75 mins: Thiam standing over it. Cross or shot?
Shot, straight into the wall. A real waste. Appeals for handball, but nothing given.
18:19 , Matt Verri
74 mins: Saying that, he’s coming off now. Jallow on to replace him.
Kamara goes down holding his head, wants a free-kick. And he gets one. Great position for Mauritania, 20 yards out.
18:18 , Matt Verri
72 mins: Colley has been so bright all match on the right wing for Gambia.
Really dangerous ball into the box, just about flicked away. He’s probably been the best player on the pitch.
18:16 , Matt Verri
70 mins: Jagne wins a free-kick for Gambia as he drives forward into midfield. They’re in no rush to take that.
They’ll have to speed up a bit though, as the referee comes across to tell them to cut out the time wasting.
18:14 , Matt Verri
68 mins: Mauritania get to the byline, but the defending is good to stop the ball coming into the box and Gambia win a goal-kick.
Another decent ball in from Thiam, who has been introduced. Just too much on it, with Ba desperately backpeddling to try and get on the end of it.
18:10 , Matt Verri
65 mins: Great ball into the box... Ba can’t quite get up enough and his header is flicked wide of the far post.
Chances starting to come though.
18:08 , Matt Verri
63 mins: That’s better. Kamara curls a nice effort towards the far corner, but Jobe can palm it away.
Mauritania need to keep giving their captain the ball as much as possible.
18:07 , Matt Verri
61 mins: Are we on course for yet another 1-0 this tournament? That’s certainly been the pattern in the first few days of action in Cameroon.
Mauritania look comfortable in possession at the back, but still not creating much.
18:03 , Matt Verri
58 mins: Another really good chance for Gambia. Will they regret all these misses?
Colley played in with a lovely reverse pass, and he cuts back inside onto his left. Can’t keep his strike down though and it’s sliced high and wide.
18:01 , Matt Verri
56 mins: Colley flicks out a leg, and the referee gives a free-kick against him. Shows Colley the yellow card too, very harsh.
Ball almost falls to Kamara in the box, but Gambia can hack it away.
17:59 , Matt Verri
54 mins: Mauritania have not started the half well at all.
Yet to create anything going forward and they look really vulnerable from set-piece. Not a great combination...
17:57 , Matt Verri
52 mins: Abeid shoves Colley over in the corner, and despite his protests that will be a free-kick for Gambia. Silly challenge.
Even bigger chance this time! Centre-back Omar Colley completely free at the back post, keeper comes for it and gets nowhere near... but he heads wide of the open goal.
How are Gambia not 2-0 up?!
17:54 , Matt Verri
49 mins: Great play from Colley to win a corner for Gambia.
He takes it himself... BIG CHANCE. Marreh with a free-header six yards out, but he hardly makes contact. Glances it well wide.
17:52 , Matt Verri
47 mins: Gambia straight on the attack after the break. Lay-off isn’t a great one though and it breaks down.
Kamara tries to run onto a long ball, but it skips off the pitch and out for a goal-kick.
17:50 , Matt Verri
Players out onto the pitch for the second-half. Karamoko off for Mauritania, Demba on in his place.
We are back underway in Cameroon!
Gambia’s first ever AFCON goal...
17:46 , Matt Verri
17:41 , Matt Verri
10 shots for Mauritania in the half, as well as 64% of possession. Just three shots for Gambia, but they have the lead.
Bit more of a clinical edge needed from Kamara and his teammates in the second-half.
Only goal of the match so far...
17:36 , Matt Verri
TAKE A BOW, Ablie Jallow! 👏
Gambia take the lead with a stunning strike from outside the box! 🎆 pic.twitter.com/ePWdkWuFs5
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 12, 2022
17:33 , Matt Verri
45 mins: Big chance for Gambia to break into space. Comes to Jallow, but he loses it before he can look up and see the numbers in the middle.
No stoppage time to be played, so that will be half-time. Gambia lead 1-0.
17:30 , Matt Verri
43 mins: Ceesay gives away a free-kick as the ball is played long towards him.
A few minutes left in the half for Gambia to hold on, and take a lead into the break.
17:27 , Matt Verri
40 mins: Gambia struggling to get out, all Mauritania at the moment.
They win another corner as the cross is charged down. As has happened at every corner, the referee warns the players for too much holding.
Jobe with another unconvincing punch. Falls to Houeibib who swivels and volleys it over the bar.
17:25 , Matt Verri
37 mins: Mauritania’s best move of the match by a long way.
Good build-up, before it comes wide to Karamoko. Who plays it low into the box, and Ba has an effort well blocked.
Fofana then stands a nice ball up to the back post. Ba wins the header, Jobe tips it over the bar. Pressure building...
N’Diaye takes it, cleared by Ceesay. Kamara has a good chance though as it falls to him in the box, but he slices it wide. Big chance.
17:22 , Matt Verri
35 mins: Adams pulled back by Fofana, and Gambia have a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Barrow slides it through cleverly to Jagne who was completely free, but he’s on his heels and it runs out for a goal-kick.
17:19 , Matt Verri
32 mins: Goalkeeper Jobe flaps at one as Ba puts him under pressure. No free-kick given.
Shot then comes in with Jobe off his line, but over from a tight angle. More than 60% possession for Mauritania in the match... nothing to show for it so far.
17:17 , Matt Verri
30 mins: And Ba swiftly has company, as teammate N’Diaye joins him in the book.
Adams was bursting away in midfield for Gambia and had Ceesay in support. N’Diaye put a stop to that as he dragged Adams to the ground - not a difficult decision for the referee.
17:16 , Matt Verri
28 mins: Yellow card for Ba.
Mauritania striker swung an arm as he challenged for a bouncing ball, caught Gomez in the face and the referee has booked him. First yellow of the match.
17:14 , Matt Verri
27 mins: Gambia play it over the top for Ceesay to run onto, too much on it though and it runs through to the goalkeeper.
Kamara is then crowded out of it on the halfway line, and the referee waves away his appeals for a free-kick.
17:12 , Matt Verri
25 mins: Kamara at last gets on the ball. Tight angle in the box on the right, but decides to go for goal anyone.
Catches it decently enough, but it flies over the bar.
17:11 , Matt Verri
24 mins: Mauritania having all of the possession, just can’t create anything clear-cut yet.
Another cross is swung into the box, and it’s comfortably headed away.
17:10 , Matt Verri
22 mins: Good chance for Mauritania, but they don’t make enough of it.
Karamoko flies forward on the overlap and it’s played out wide to him. Has so much time and space, but crosses it back over everyone in the box.
Comes back in, and again the ball is not a good one.
17:07 , Matt Verri
20 mins: Another corner for Mauritania as they look to find an equaliser.
Ends with N’Diaye having an effort from 25 yards out. Shanks it horribly wide, and it goes out for a throw-in.
17:05 , Matt Verri
17 mins: Colley nearly pounces on a loose ball for Gambia... if he had have done they would have been away.
Kamara has barely had a touch for Mauritania so far. Captain needs to get involved.
17:02 , Matt Verri
15 mins: Better from Mauritania, ball over the top is cleared behind and they win their first corner of the match.
Plenty of bodies surrounding the goalkeeper. Ba heads it back into the six-yard box, and it’s not the greatest of punches from Jobe but it just about does the job.
17:00 , Matt Verri
12 mins: Confident is certainly up for Gambia after that.
Ceesay works it into space and tries his luck from range. Decent effort, but a comfortable save.
GOAL! Mauritania 0-1 Gambia | Ablie Jallow 10’
16:58 , Matt Verri
Jallow gives his country the lead with a wonderful strike from the edge of the box.
Diop could do nothing about that, in the Mauritania goal. Gambia’s first ever AFCON goal.
16:57 , Matt Verri
9 mins: Gambia getting on the ball more, starting to control things.
Jagne plays a decent ball over the top... Dellahi clears it out to stop the attack. There is definitely space in attack for Gambia in the early stages.
16:55 , Matt Verri
7 mins: Houeibib slides in on Ceesay to stop the Gambia forward, but it’s behind for a corner.
Decent ball in, but Diop can claim it as he bounces in the box and the danger is averted by Mauritani
16:53 , Matt Verri
5 mins: Kamara holds it up well for his team and wins the throw.
Fofana shoots from more than 35 yards out... optimistic to say the least. It’s wide. Mauritania enjoying most of the possession early on.
16:51 , Matt Verri
3 mins: Colley bursts down the right wing and is far too quick for Dellahi. He goes down claiming a foul... nothing given.
Mauritania have their first attack of the match and Ba lets fly from range, but he drags it well wide.
16:49 , Matt Verri
2 mins: Bright start from Gambia, and they probably should have made more of it.
Colley and Barrow combine well to get in behind, but the pass forces Barrow wide and his cut back into the box is cleared.
16:47 , Matt Verri
Mauritania vs Gambia... is underway at last!
16:45 , Matt Verri
Unfortunately for the Mauritania players and fans, they won’t get to have their anthem played. Some sort of issue that hasn’t been fixed.
No such problems for Gambia though.
It’s been a struggle, but it looks like this match will finally kick-off!
16:42 , Matt Verri
Not the best of starts. A couple of attempts at playing the Mauritania national anthem are unsuccessful.
Players just standing there looking a bit confused.
Players out onto the pitch
16:39 , Matt Verri
Here we go then, teams are coming out.
We will get this one underway at last!
16:34 , Matt Verri
Just over ten minutes until they do finally kick-off. Hopefully.
There’s been ten matches so far this tournament... 10 goals in total. Only the opener between Cameroon and Burkina Faso has seen more than one goal.
Let’s hope that pattern changes this afternoon.
Mauritania looking for better showing
16:27 , Matt Verri
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations was Mauritania’s first appearance at the tournament.
They lost 4-1 to Mali in their opening match, before goalless draws against Angola and Tunisia. It left them bottom of the group and knocked out of the tournament.
Plenty of room for improvement...
How Gambia reached first AFCON
16:22 , Matt Verri
Plenty of excitement in the Gambia squad, as they make their first ever appearance at the tournament.
They topped a tight group with Gabon, DR Congo and Angola to qualify, and will be hoping to make an impact in Cameroon.
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 12, 2022
Kamara the key man for Mauritania
16:11 , Matt Verri
Former Fulham striker will lead the line for Mauritania when we eventually get this one underway. Here’s what he’s had to say in the build-up.
“It is a pride for me to defend the colours of Mauritania at this high level,” Kamara said.
“We are prepared to be in tune with high goals. We are focused on the objective, it is to take this team to a new level.
“We have progressed in this transition phase, we have content to look alike. Technically, physically, we are all ready.”
16:05 , Matt Verri
As a result of the chaos in the earlier match, kick-off has been delayed.
We’ll be getting underway now at 16:45 GMT if everything goes to plan from here. 45 minute delay.
15:57 , Matt Verri
Just a few minutes until kick-off.... this Mauritania fan is certainly ready.
Earlier in Group F
15:52 , Matt Verri
Mali’s Africa Cup of Nations victory over Tunisia ended in farcical circumstances after referee Janny Sikazwe blew for full-time before the end of the regulation 90 minutes, despite a host of stoppages.
Both teams were eventually asked to return to the field to finish the match, with the fourth official set to take over from Sikazwe in the middle, but Tunisia’s players refused in protest, allowing Mali to keep a 1-0 win, which came courtesy of Ibrahima Kone’s 48th-minute penalty.
Zimbabwean official Sikazwe had already erroneously blown for full-time once, after 85 minutes, only for the game to be resumed after protests from the Tunisian bench.
15:35 , Matt Verri
Starting XI: Gaye, Gomez, Colley, Sundberg, Janko, Darboe, Adams, Bobb, Touray, Barrow, Ceesay
Subs: Ngum, Lamin Jallow, Ebrima Darboe, Sohna, Mbye, Bubacarr Jobe, Trawally, Sibi, Badamosi, Dembo Darboe, Sanneh, Njie.
15:34 , Matt Verri
Starting XI: Diop, Karamoko, Ba, Houbeib, Abeid, N’Diaye, Yali, Mahmoud, A. Ba, Doukara, Kamara
Subs: M’Backe N’Diaye, Demba, Abdoul Ba, Idrissa Thiam, Tanjy, Adama Ba, Oumar Camara, Diarra, Abderrahmane, Yacoub, Doukara, Coulibaly.
Gambia boss Tom Saintfiet’s thoughts
15:25 , Matt Verri
“We have ambitions, and we enter this AFCON with delight.
“In 51 years, Gambia have not played in an international competition. We will start this competition without pressure. The atmosphere is fantastic. A whole country is concerned.
“Gambia has fantastic young footballers who want to appear in front of the world. We are not here for tourism but to represent this young nation.
Teams have arrived...
15:18 , Matt Verri
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 12, 2022
Mauritania boss Dider Gomes da Rosa’s thoughts
15:12 , Matt Verri
“I’m satisfied with our preparation in Abu Dhabi. We played 2 friendlies, and we are ready to start our campaign.
“I benefit from the work done by Corentin Martins, who laid the foundations for this progressive success. Now we had to find momentum, our goal is to be at least in the round of 16.
“We are calm, realistic, we have to show humility, we will bring a breath of fresh air to this AFCON.
“Gambia is a good team with very big individuals, it is not a team to be neglected, and they can be the tournament’s surprise.”
A look inside the dressing rooms
15:01 , Jonathan Gorrie
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 12, 2022
Latest team news
14:43 , Jonathan Gorrie
It will be interesting to see how Mauritania deploy 16-year-old Beyatt Lekweiry during the tournament. A highly-rated talent, thrusting him on from the start could be a tad too much for the youngster.
Former Fulham forward Aboubakar Kamara is expected to lead the line.
For Gambia, Pa Modou Jagne is the most experienced option in defence and Assan Ceesay is one to look out for in attack.
How to watch
14:16 , Jonathan Gorrie
TV channel: The game will be broadcast on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Premier League.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will be able to watch the game through the Sky Go App.
LIVE coverage: Get minute-by-minute updates through Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.
14:03 , Jonathan Gorrie
Welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE match blog as Mauritania face Gambia in Group F.
Kick-off at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium is at 4pm GMT.