GAMBIA PREPARES FOR ELEPHANTS GAME WITH ANTELOPES THRASHING
Thursday, March 21, 2013
The Gambian side under the tutelage of Italian Luciano Mancini has been preparing for the crunch game against the star-studded Ivorians with a four-day mini training camp in Niamey, Niger.
Just like The Gambia, the Antelopes of Niger are also involved in a World Cup qualifier and will play away to 2013 Nations Cup finalists, Burkina Faso on Saturday. And ahead of the weekend games, the two sides agreed to test their laurels against each other as preparations for the crunch ties.
The Gambia couldn’t ask for a better outing and the star of the show was Real Zaragoza B’s Saihou Gassama, who assisted both of the Scorpions’ opening goals. Captain Abdou Jammeh and Mamadou Futty Danso both scored in the first period before striker Momodou Ceesay sealed off the emphatic win in the second half after the hosts had pulled a goal back.
Gambia got off to the best possible start and opened the scores after only ten minutes at the national stadium when T-Boy Jammeh powered in a header from Gassama’s corner kick. The Scorpions extended their lead in the 25th minute after defender Futty Danso connected with another Gassama set-piece delivery to give his side a 2-0 lead.
The home side pressed in an effort to half the deficit and their persistence paid off just before the break when Captain Munisret’s attempted cross arched into Gambia’s left post leaving goalkeeper Alhagie Jobe motionless. They nearly ensured parity after a sluggish play in midfield by Yankuba Mal Ceesay but the Gambian defenders regrouped to avert the danger.
The Scorpions ended the first half with the upper hand and made sure of the win in the second period with striker Momodou Ceesay the provider this time, after the FC Kairat Almaty player missed earlier opportunities. After being caught offside from a Sanna Nyassi pass moments after the restart, the former MSK Zilina striker in the 49th minute beat the trap to simply tap home a magnificent production of Abdoulie Mansally and Pa Modou Jagne combination.
Pa Modou Jagne blocked several of Niger’s efforts on goal before the FC St Gallan utility player was replaced at left-back by KuPS’ Omar Colley. That was the beginning of several substitutions effected by Mancini with Sulayman Marreh replacing Yankuba Ceesay and Emmanuel Gomez coming in for Abdou Jammeh, who made a gigantic comeback in Niamey after his poor outing at the team’s home friendly against Mauritania.
Momodou Futty Danso was replaced by Bakau United’s Musa Yaffa, while Christopher Allen came in for Alhagie Jobe at goal. Best local based player in the squad Hamza Barry also replaced Momodou Ceesay.
Speaking to reporters in Niamey as the GFA Media Officer, Bakary B Baldeh revealed that Mancini described the win as a big one but noted that the Ivory Coast game is the most important one on his mind. He stressed that it is good to win against Niger so that the boys’ moral would be boosted ahead of the Ivory Coast game. “I am very happy because the boys played very well and it’s fundamental to win, but most important is the Saturday game,” he told reporters at the end of the game.
The Gambian team and delegation would be flying to Abidjan in the early hours of Thursday, 21st March ahead of their World Cup qualifier against the Elephants of Ivory Coast. That game is scheduled to take place at 5pm Gambian time on Saturday.
Author: Baboucarr Camara