Two late penalties handed down after the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) saw first-time Gambia hold Mali a 1-1 draw at the Africa Cup of Nations in Limbe, Cameroon, on Sunday when the team stayed at the top of the group. F-position.
Both have four points in two matches, and the group’s other teams, Mauritania and Tunisia, meet later in Limbe to seek their first points.
Gambia equalized in the last minute through Musa Barrow after a handball decision against Mali, which had led for 10 minutes after Ibrahima Kone converted a goal kick.
Both penalties were awarded after VAR advised Moroccan referee Samir Guezzaz to watch the incidents on the pitch.
Mali’s penalty kick came late after Adama Nos Traore had been pulled down in the area. Mali had besieged Gambia’s goal for much of the match and deserved to finally get the breakthrough.
But Gambia, who competed in their first finals and after defeating Mauritania in their opening match, won their own penalty in the last minute when Yves Bissouma handled an attempt by Ebrima Colley.
Gambia’s goalkeeper Modou Jobe scored several points in the second half.
But it was Gambia who were closest to scoring before the two goal kicks when Barrow after 20 minutes thumped an ambitious free kick, taken from the middle between the halfway line and the edge of the penalty area, against the crossbar.
He had another chance to score, from much closer in, seven minutes before the break and hit the wood again.