The Gambia came from jail to survive a tormenting time in Morocco last night after Chad nearly threw out the Afcon quarter finalist in a thrilling end to their Afcon 2023 preliminary tie.
The Scorpions entered the final leg with a vital away goal advantage from the first leg, but a resurgent Chad had learnt to destablise the Gambian team which soon found itself trailing by a goal and staring at an even aggregate score.
Assan Ceesay who has missed scoring for country regained his magical touch and replied with the equalizer but Chad had always meant business in this leg and were soon 2-1 up which would have been enough to send Gambia packing. A tormenting nervous moment ensured for the Scorpions with the exit door almost in sight.
Lady luck smiled at The Gambia though when the referee awarded a penalty that Assan Ceesay stepped up to covert very late in the match to save Gambia from falling from grace after all the glee from Afcon 2020.
It ended 2-2 with Scorpions progressing 3-2 on aggregate.
The Gambia will be included in the groupings to be drawn in June for the qualifiers proper guaranteeing six matches in the quest for place in the finals in Ivory Coast nest January.