A ten-man Gambia came behind to beat Algeria 2-1 last night in the last match of the African Nations Cup Ghana 2008 qualifiers.
In a keenly contested game played at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, the Scorpions ended the Dessert Warriors’ dream of making it to Ghana 2008 championship next year with a convincing 2-1 victory.
Despite one man down, with the sending off of striker Ousman Jallow, the Scorpions fought very hard in the last 15 minutes of the game to turn the result in their favour.
The Dessert Warriors of Algeria took the lead in the 52nd minute through Saifi Rafik, who received a good cross from Ouserir Mohamed after an individual counter attack from play marker, Boutabout Mansour.
Knowing the importance of the result of the game for the future of Gambian Football, Captain Edrissa Sonko and teammates mounted several attacks on the Algerian defense especially with the entrance of Assan Jatta, Modou Jagne and Ebrima Sohna for Njogu Demba, Edrissa Sonko and Pa Saikou Kujabi respectively.
Assan Jatta alias Bierroff made his presence felt by missed the equaliser in the 64th minute.
Three minutes later, The Gambia was awarded a penalty following a handball of defender Bougherra Madjid.
But unfortunately for The Gambia, goalkeeper Lounes stopped Ousman Jallow’s penalty kick.
The scorpions continued to assault the Algerian defense up to the 71st minute when a good combination between Ousman Jallow and Mustapha Jarju ended on the feet of Assan Jatta, who took the Algerian defense to a surprise and dribbled goalkeeper Lounes before netting the equaliser at the joy of thousands of Gambian fans.
But thing turned bad for the Gambia just two minutes after the equaliser when striker Ousman Jallow was red carded by the Nigerian referee for allegedly assaulting an Algerian defender.
The turning point of the game occurred in the 87th minute when Pa Modou Jagne good run on the left back ended with a good service for midfielder Mathieu Mendy, who easily beat the Algerian goalkeeper for the second time in the day.
Despite the victory The Gambia could not make it to Ghana 2008 as in the other group game in Conakry, Guinea humiliated Cape Verde 4-0 and emerged as group winners with 11 points.