Tuesday, September 26

Saidou Khan helps Gambia qualify for Africa Cup of Nations

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Saidou Khan has helped Gambia qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in January as they made a late comeback to secure their place at the tournament.

The Town midfielder was on the bench for the final qualifying match against Congo on Sunday night, in which the Scorpions scored a late double to secure a 2-2 draw.

Gambia required a point or more from the match to book their place at the tournament in Cote D’Ivoire in January of next year.

They were taking on their closest challengers Congo in Marrakech, who led 2-0 with just over ten minutes remaining courtesy of goals from Gaius Makouta and Silvere Ganvoula, but Yankuba Minteh and Muhammed Badamosi both scored late on to get the draw they needed.

This is the second time in Gambia’s history that they have managed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, having made their debut at the last AFCON, making the quarterfinals.

Khan has been part of Tom Saintfiet’s last two squads but is yet to make his debut for his country and will be hoping to remain apart of his plans for the tournament in January.

Speaking prior to leaving for Morocco, Khan said the incentive of being able to play at AFCON was a huge driver for him this season.

He said: “When I last got called up there were two games to go and now heading into this last game, we just need a draw or a win to qualify for AFCON.

“I want to be apart of that, and for me to be apart of that I need to perform at Swindon, so that is a huge motivation for me.

“But looking at Swindon as well, we want to get promoted, so that provides a double motivation for me.

“If I can get promoted here and be part of a squad that is playing in AFCON, then that would be a big achievement for me.”

If he were to be called up for the squad, he would be the second Town player go to the Africa Cup of Nations, after Jojo Wollacott featured for Ghana in 2021.

He would also become the seventh Swindon player to be called up to a major tournament whilst at the club, following in the footsteps of Alan McLoughlin, Jan-Age Fjortoft, Massimo Luongo, Yasser Kasim, Wollacott, and Jonny Williams.

Fellow EFL players Ibou Touray of Stockport County and Ebou Adams of Cardiff City were also part of the Gambia team.