The Gambia twice came from behind to force a 2-2 (3-2 aggregate) draw against Chad to qualify for the group stage of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers.
FC Zurich forward Assan Ceesay was the Scorpions hero as he converted a brace to send the West Africans to the next phase of qualifying for next year’s AFCON.
Tom Saintfiet’s charges had to do it the hard way when they went behind through Ahmat Abderamane’s header on 26 minutes.
The Sao defender headed past Baboucarr Gaye to give Chad the lead against the run of play when he was left unmarked.
The TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 quarter-finalists leveled matters before the half-hour mark through Ceesay’s half volley.
The former Gamtel striker kept his cool to slot past the guarded Chadian goal on 29 minutes.
The Gambia controlled most parts of the first half with Musa Barrow rattling the Chad post with a fierce dipping effort from distance.
The Sao regained the lead two minutes after the restart through N’Douassel Ezéchiel’s spot-kick after a Gambian player handled the ball in the area.
The Gambia’s Belgian gaffer reshuffled the team with the introductions of Muhammed Sanneh, Dembo Darboe, and Buba Jobe as they chase the match.
Grenoble forward Abdoulie Sanyang missed a sitter just after the hour match when his close-range effort canoed off the Chad post.
The Scorpions survived the scare when Ceesay stepped up to score his second of the night from the penalty spot to send his side to the group stages of the qualifiers.