Gambia qualified for the second round of the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers despite they were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors Sierra Leone in Banjul on Monday.
In Monrovia on October 18, Sierra Leone bowed 2-0 to west African rivals Gambia no thanks to second half efforts of Ola Burawo and Ruggy Joof at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, adopted home ground of the Leone Stars.
This time in Banjul, Mariama Sowe’s side made a promising start at Bakau Independence Stadium as Fatoumata Kanteh, a striker born in Spain to Gambian and Senegelese parents made a scoring debut in the 23rd minute.
However, the visitors bounced back against their wasteful hosts and secured an equaliser through captain Zainab Macauley nine minutes into the second half.
Sierra Leone intensified their comeback push but suffered a huge setback when Aminata Mamie Bellon was sent off seven minutes from time as the hosts held on to ensure their qualification to the second round on 3-1 aggregate win.
With their advancement, Gambia will slug it out with giants Cameroon, who eliminated Central African Republic 3-0 on aggregate, in the second round for a ticket to Morocco 2022.
Benin 1-3 Burkina Faso
At the Stade de l’Amitie inCotonou, Burkina Faso were cruising from a 2-1 first leg win at adopted ground, Robert Champroux stadium in Abidjan and were aiming to consolidate in the second leg in pursuit of a second round ticket.
Three days later, hosts Benin were hoping to avenge their first leg loss and Zato Abibath handed them a shock lead on the half hour mark in the first half the match.
After the break, Burkina Faso leveled matters and bagged an away goal thanks to Bakissa Sawadogo’s precious strike five minutes into the second half.
In additional time, Abamon Ayomide Noelie found a breakthrough to double the visitors’ lead before Sawadogo’s own goal on the brink of full time to guarantee the passage of Burkinabe, with a 5-2 aggregate win.
Having progressed,first time women’s Afcon hopefuls Burkina Faso will face off with winner between Guinea Bissau and Mauritania in the second round of the qualifying series next February.