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Football

Guinea edge Indonesia to qualify for Olympics

FIFA

Guinea clinched qualification for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament with a 1-0 play-off victory over Indonesia on Thursday.

Ilaix Moriba’s first-half penalty proved decisive in a tense encounter at Clairefontaine. The line-up for the 16-team tournament at Paris 2024 is now complete, with Guinea placed in Group A alongside host nation France, USA and New Zealand.

Guinea were the more progressive team from the outset and hit the front just before the half-hour mark. After a lightning quick break, attacker Algassime Bah was brought down in the penalty box by Indonesia’s Witan Sulaeman. Moriba stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and duly slammed the ball home.

The African side had a golden opportunity to double their advantage shortly after half-time but Mohamed Soumah’s close-range effort was cleared off the line.

Indonesia then came close to an equaliser on the hour when substitute Alfeandra Dewangga’s glancing header went just wide.

Dewangga was soon in the thick of the action again when he conceded a penalty after a challenge on Bah. After a lengthy delay – during which Indonesia coach Shin Tae-yong was sent off for his protestations about the penalty award – Bah took the kick himself but his effort clipped the post and went wide.

Indonesia huffed and puffed in search of a late leveller but Guinea held out to punch their ticket to Paris 2024.

The African side will be competing at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament for the second time, with their only previous appearance coming in 1968.

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