Gambia beat Zambia 2-0 to book their place in the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt on Friday.
The Young Scorpions scored twice in the second half at the Haras El Hodoud Stadium to secure their second victory of Group C.
Abdoulie Bojang’s charges have an unassailable lead which guarantees first place with a game to spare.
Cape Town City forward Kajally Drammeh fired the Young Scorpions in front midway through the second half before captain Alagie Saine wrapped up the result with a late penalty.
The West Africans dominated the match and created numerous chances in the first half to put the match beyond the Young Copper Bullets.
Abdoulie Bojang kept faith with the same team that started against Tunisia in their first match of the group. Slavia Prague winger Ebrima Singhateh had most of the chances for Gambia but the youngster couldn’t convert.
The former Real de Banjul protege was presented with the first opportunity of the match inside three minutes when he collected a loose ball outside the Zambian box only for his effort to be blocked for a corner.
The lively Singhateh came close twice but his efforts lacked purpose to beat the Zambian keeper Jeban Tembo.
The Young Copper Bullets started the second half better with Derrick Bulaya forcing a save from Pa Ebou Dampha in the Scorpions goal.
The Gambia made a double change bringing in Modou Marong and Muhamed Sawaneh for Ebrima Singhateh and Real de Banjul’s Alieu Gibba.
The duo helped the Young Scorpions going forward with Marong partnering Adama Bojang in attack while Muhamed Sawaneh slotted in the three man midfield.
Gambia scored the opener after 63 minutes through Cape Town City star Kajally Drammeh’s close range tap in.
Modou Marong headed forward a long ball from goalkeeper Pa Ebou Dampha behind the Zambia defense which allowed Adama Bojang to race through and the Steve Biko forward had a touch to set Drammeh for the breakthrough goal.
Gambia continued to enjoy possession and got their second goal from the penalty when Marong was brought down by Tembo.
Captain and Man of the Match for the second time Alagie Saine slotted home the spot kick sending Tembo the wrong way and firing the two-time bronze medalists to the quarter-finals with a game to spare.
The result means Gambia have an unassailable lead in Group C. They will play Benin in their last group match while Zambia face Tunisia.
Zambia XI v Gambia: Jeban Tembo – Lombe Mutale, Gift Mphande, Happy Nsiku, Amon Zulu – Dominic Kanda, Julius Kumwenda (Charles Majapa Mumba 61′), Rickson Ng’ambi (Chipyoka Songa 61′) – Emmanuel Mukosha (Lasmond Phiri 67′), Derick Bulaya, Peter Chikola (Kingstone Mutandwa 74′)