Gambia fell to Uruguay in the Round of 16. The Scorpions lost (0-1) on Thursday and are out of the U20 World Cup. They are the 3rd African nation to be eliminated after Senegal and Tunisia.

From the start of the game, Uruguay showed great ambition in attacking play down the right flank. Luciano Rodríguez was very much in evidence on his flank, trying to destabilise the Gambian defence, which held firm. In the 13th minute, Rodriguez made his first foray and won a corner. His first of the match. Until then, the Scorpions had been managing the match well, but a set-piece upset their plans. Striker Mansour Mbaye received a red card (14th) following a heavy tackle in midfield. With just 14 minutes played and 10 men against 11, Gambia managed to hold on. They played with a low block and moved forward quickly after winning the ball back. However, they were exposed in the 25th minute when Uruguayan left-back Alan Matturro Romero broke forward. His back-heeled cross was intercepted by Gambia goalkeeper Pa Ebou Dampha.

Playing with a numerical disadvantage since the 14th minute, the Gambians saw Uruguay reduced to 10 men just before the break (45′). The twirling right-back, Luciano Rodríguez, was sent off for elbowing left-back Sainey Sanyang. The two teams went into the break at 0-0.

After the break, Gambia, finding themselves level on points with Uruguay, tried to get back into the game. They had two chances, but without much danger. In the 50th minute, they came close to conceding the first goal of the match. Right-back Matéo Ponte, who was behind a magnificent move, broke into the Gambian box and faced the keeper. The Uruguayan sent a magnificent cross to his team-mate, who was alone in front of goal. The latter missed with the flat of his foot and sent the ball wide. It was the first big chance of the match and a big scare for the Scorpions. The Scorpions also had a great opportunity to score, but Bakary Jawara’s shot flew over the Uruguayans’ goal, only to be saved by Anderson Duarté a few minutes later (64′). The striker received the ball on the edge of the area and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed shot. Damphas were beaten (1-0).

Duarté came close to doubling the lead. His acrobatic overhead kick went over the Gambian keeper’s goal (70′). Trailing by a single goal, Gambia began to show more spirit. However, they were unable to threaten. The young Scorpions were even caught on the counter-attack on several occasions. Franco Gonzalez, the Uruguayan playmaker, caused havoc down the right flank. He still lacked the technical accuracy to find his team-mate in attack. Uruguay had 3 clear-cut chances late on. Each time it was a Gambian who intercepted a Uruguayan who missed. The Scorpions were unable to equalise despite 8 minutes of added time. They are now the 3rd African team to be eliminated after Senegal and Tunisia. The last African hopes are in the hands of Nigeria, who have qualified for the quarter-finals.

Source: SNA

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