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Aguibou Camara’s second-half goal fired Guinea to a precious 1-0 victory over Gambia in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Both nations had failed to claim all three points in their tournament openers and were aware of the significance on this fixture towards their knockout stage hopes.

After a goalless first half in Yamoussoukro, Camera made the breakthrough with 21 minutes left when he slid home from Morgan Guilavogui’s cross and it proved enough to move Guinea up to four points ahead of their final group game with current leaders Senegal.

Gambia boss Tom Saintfiet shuffled his pack with five changes made from their opening loss to Senegal, but chances were few and far between early on.

Guinea almost took the lead in the 33rd minute, but Mohamed Bayo’s right-footed strike hit the post and it remained 0-0 at half-time.

Kaba Diawara’s Guinea continued to press for the opener and forced a number of corners before the deadlock was finally broken after 69 minutes.

Guinea’s Morgan Guilavogui
Guinea’s Morgan Guilavogui, centre, helped his side to victory (Sunday Alamba/AP)

Guilavogui was the architect for the goal after he collected Ibrahim Diakite’s pass and cut back for Camara to poke home after he beat Gambia defender James Gomez to the centre.

It sparked jubilant scenes from the Guinea team and it was almost 2-0 moments later, but Bayo struck the crossbar from close range.

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita was introduced late on and he helped Guinea hold on for a potentially vital victory to claim a semblance of revenge after Gambia knocked them out of the 2021 edition in the last-16 stage.