Christopher Wooh was the last player to score in an extraordinary period of stoppage time as Cameroon eventually defeated Gambia 3-2 to stave off an early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday.
Gambia defender Muhammed Sanneh set off wild celebrations when he put the ball in the net two minutes after Wooh, but the goal was overturned after a VAR check showed he used his hand.
Gambia was in contention for the last 16 by coming from behind to take a 2-1 lead when Ebrima Colley scored with just five minutes of normal time remaining.
But an own goal two minutes later from James Gomez, who was trying to cut out a cross, drew Cameroon level again, and Wooh scored what proved to be the winner with a header to a corner in the first minute of stoppage time.
Cameroon clinched its place in the knockout stage because the five-time champion scored more goals than Guinea, which lost 2-0 to group winner Senegal in the other Group C game.
Defending champion Senegal finished with a perfect nine points from three games, followed by Cameroon and Guinea on four, with Gambia finishing bottom of the group with none despite all the excitement the Scorpions had brought to the tournament.
Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet resigned after the game.
“Thank you for your service gaffer,” the Gambia Football Federation said on X, formerly Twitter.
Cameroon coach Rigobert Song dropped Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana to the bench in favor of Onana’s cousin, Fabrice Ondoa. Onana missed Cameroon’s first game after playing for United the day before, then produced a shaky performance in its second.
Abdoulaye Seck’s 61st-minute goal and another in the last from Iliman Ndiaye was enough for Senegal to maintain its perfect start to its title defense with another commanding performance in Bouaké.
Cameroon’s win also eliminated Ghana, which had been hoping to still somehow finish as one of the four best third-place finishers. That’s no longer possible for the Black Stars with just two points.
Ghana missed its chance Monday when it conceded two goals in stoppage time to draw with Mozambique 2-2.
Two-time champion Algeria faces a decisive game as it plays Mauritania later in Group D, where Angola and Burkina Faso have already advanced before their game to decide the top spot.-Africanews