Gambia yesterday required a last-gasp effort from Bubacarr Jobe to retain their lead at the summit of group D.
Hosts Gambia were tipped favourites in the lead up to Monday evening's four-goal-thriller at the Independence Stadium with Gambia's both goals coming in the second-half in what later turned out a 2-2 stalemate.
Foroyaa Sport makes a rating of each Gambian player on a scale of one to ten.
MODOU JOBE - The former Ball Conge and Real de Banjul now plying his trade in Saudi Arabia, gets an average score after conceding two goals in a single night one of which was triggered by a defensive gaffe. The goals aside, Modou Jobe was hugely untested. His ball-distribution to ignite counter-attacks needs some serious upping. 5/10.
OMAR COLLEY - He was one of the few bright individuals in a wall of defence that shipped in two goals. Omar interceptions were timely. He grabbed an early goal but got flagged to the dismay of home fans in the first period. 6/10.
BUBACARR SANNEH - At club level, he is viewed a flop and peripheral but has become an integral for Tom Saintfiet again who'd few times overlooked him for Mohammed Mbye. The Belgian maintained him in his line up having seamlessly fused with Colley. Considering he finds himself fitted at the back, he certainly won't be spared if ever the defence were to be berated. 5/10.
PA MODOU JAGNE- Nda was no captain, but fantastic, led by example when he rallied to secure the equaliser for the Scorpions with a sumptuous header after Hamza Barry turned his provider. Bubacarr Trawally had raced on the right wing, delivering in a poor cross whirling out of the box. A quick one-two had Barry's feet taking him to the left wing corner, clattering in the resultant effort which the unmarked Pa Modou Jagne headed past the DR Congo goalkeeper to nab his second international goal after the first in 2011. He was left playing catch up in the initial stages but recuperated, proving an invaluable overlapping in the second-half to bolster the numbers of Scorpions in the opposition's backyard. 7/10.
DAWDA NGUM - The void created by the absence of Ngine Faye showed through the time Ngum stayed on the pitch. The 28-year-old cut figure of a man battling confidence crisis. The incessant mutterings from the crowd each time Dawda is passed the ball was evident of his below par showing. He wasn't just experiencing a dipped form but was divisions below rest of his teammates. His poor judgment and inability to determine when to surge forward, was a perpetual deterrent during a counter or attack initiatives. It was incredible that he saw out the whole game without the more agile Sulayman Bojang joining the fray. 2/10.
EBRIMA SOHNA - Sohna is a midfielder devoid of creativity but his workaholic attitude made up for this setback. Chasing back is his craft but he gave away few balls owing to total lack of composure with the ball to his feet. However, overall, he delivered blood and sweat on the pitch. 6/10.
SULAYMAN MARREH- The 23-year-old wasn't expected to hit his heights instantaneously on account he is just recovering from an injury. However, he had been decent in Luanda and was yesterday too. The erstwhile Real Valldolid man gave fans a scare when he grimaced in agony in the final minutes but was brave enough to return onto the pitch.
Coach Saintfiet acted on precaution by hauling him off in a desperate scampering for an equaliser, replacing him with the flamboyant Atalanta's Ebrima Colley.
HAMZA BARRY - Midfield playing requires vision, inimitable brilliance coalesced with deft movements, if need be, to create spaces for strikers to run in. His accuracy for killer-passes though was somewhat disappointing. But Hamza is the epitome of a perfect playmaker in the making and the sure standout player yesterday. A one-time Everton procurement target, Barry was the man-of-the-match. 9/10.
MODOU BARROW - This young man was the architect in Luanda and could have gifted Gambia an early lead when picked out by a Hamza Barry's pass but he missed his steps, allowing his DR Congolese marker ward off looming danger. His pace was key in the Angola demolition but his mammoth DRC opposition player rarely accorded him breathing space. 6/10.
LAMIN JALLOW - Injury to Assan Ceesay got him incorporated into the lineup but fielding as a wide-man. Italian second tier side Salernitana's playmaker did track back to help his error-prone right-back Dawda Ngum and thus occasionally took up attacking moves. He had to be substituted albeit reluctantly with disenchantment etched on his face. 6/10.
BUBACARR TRAWALLY - Steve failed to deliver a goal and the obvious difference between him and Assan Ceesay -the man he replaced. He wasted two chances, closest being his scuffing of a begging chance when set through on goal with only the DR Congo net-minder to beat. A clear fan favourite but the jury is out on his ability to score for Gambia as he endured yet another drought with the Scorpions for which his performance will be judged. Of a praise-worthy thing is his tenacity to chase the ball and help in recovering lost possession. 6/10.
MUSA BARROW - The forward was a new entrant and gets 4/10.
BABUCARR JOBE - Scoring ten times in Sweden, earning his Mjallby side promotion to the Swedish Premier League, the former Toronto FC striker has lightening pace and he made it count when he slotted Gambia's 2-2 equaling goal, his second international goal after the first came last year around this time against Benin. Jobe came is a last-minute new entrant, but bags 7/10 rating for his goal.
Gambia plays again August 2020 away in Gabon.