Guinea beat Gambia to close in on last 16



YAMOUSSOUKRO, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Aguibou Camara scored a second-half winner to give Guinea a 1-0 victory over Gambia at the Africa Cup of Nations finals on Friday and help them to take a giant step towards a place in the last 16 of the tournament in the Ivory Coast.

Camara slid home a pass from Morgan Guilavogui to hand Guinea a deserved triumph after they dominated the Group C clash at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium.

Guinea have four points in second place in the standings behind holders Senegal, who top the table with six after they beat Cameroon 3-1 earlier in the day.

Cameroon have a single point while the Gambia have lost their opening two matches.

With the top two teams from each of the six opening-round groups advancing, along with the four best third-placed finishers, Guinea will consider themselves as good as through to the last 16 after an imposing performance.

Mohamed Bayo, who scored in their 1-1 draw with Cameroon in their opening group game on Monday, hit the woodwork twice and there was also a good chance missed by Sekou Oumar Sylla.

Camara’s goal came at the end of a swift passing movement but he needed to stretch out to steer the cross into the net in the 69th minute.

Guinea were eliminated in the last 16 by Gambia on their giant-killing run at the previous Cup of Nations in Cameroon two years ago but turned the tables this time round with Bayo seeing his 33rd-minute shot strike the foot of the upright and bounce away to safety.

Sylla was free on goal in the 61st minute but made poor contact with the ball and saw his chance slip away while Bayo hit the woodwork again in the 74th minute.

Guinea had captain Naby Keita back as a second-half substitute, and he had a stoppage-time effort cleared off the Gambia line, but again they did not use Serhou Guirassy, the VfB Stuttgart striker who has scored 17 Bundesliga goals this season. Guirassy was injured at the pre-tournament training camp in Abu Dhabi and has yet to feature at the finals.

Gambia’s Yankuba Minteh had the ball in the net for Gambia in the 80th minute but was ruled offside and Ablie Jallow missed out at the left post soon after.

Gambia must beat Cameroon in their last game on Tuesday to stand any chance of progress while Guinea will take on Senegal at the same time to determine top place in the group. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Keywords: Ivory Coast AFCON Africa Cup of Nations

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