Sports games

Football-Gambia and Mali draw after two late VAR penalties

Two late penalties awarded after the intervention of the video assistant referee saw debutants Gambia hold Mali to a 1-1 draw at the Africa Cup of Nations in Limbe on Sunday as the sides remained in top of the Group F standings.

Both have four points from two matches with fellow group sides Mauritania and Tunisia meeting later in Limbe in search of their first points. Gambia equalized at the last minute through Musa Barrow after a handball decision against Mali, who had led for 10 minutes after Ibrahima Kone converted a free kick.

Both penalties were awarded after VAR advised Moroccan referee Samir Guezzzaz to view the incidents on the pitchside screen. That of Mali was given late after Adama Nos Traoré was shot dead in the region. Mali had beleaguered Gambia’s goal for much of the game and deserved to finally make the breakthrough.

But The Gambia, playing in their first final and having beaten Mauritania in their opening game, won a penalty at the last minute when Yves Bissouma netted a cross from Ebrima Colley. Gambian keeper Modou Jobe made several saves from close range in the second half to keep his goal intact.

But it was Gambia who came closest to scoring before both kicks when, after 20 minutes, Barrow struck an ambitious free-kick, fired halfway between the halfway line and the edge of the penalty area. repair, against the crossbar. He had another free-kick opportunity, from much closer, seven minutes before half-time and hit the woodwork again. (Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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