The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) were on Saturday crowned champions of the National Inter-departmental Sports Association (NISA) tournament after defeating the Daily Observer FC 4-3 on post-match penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw in the regulation time.
Sang Gomez scored for the GCAA after capitalising on a goal keeping error on the part of Daily Observer’s Muhammed Fatty in the 31st minute. However, substitute Biram Gaye restored parity for the pen pushers (Daily Observer) in the 78th minute.
This victory over the Daily Observer has made the GCAA defend their title, having won the trophy last year. This is the first time a media house went this far in the NISA tournament.
As winners GCAA went home with a giant trophy and a cash prize of D10, 000, and Daily Observer FC were also given a trophy and a consolation prize of D8, 000.
Speaking in an interview with reporters shortly after the game, the head coach of GCAA, Dawda Jawara, expressed satisfaction with the performance of his players, noting that they had prepared very well ahead of this encounter. He noted that their defeat over Prison FC in the curtain raiser final inspirited them to prepare very well for the Observer team.
According to him, he was not expecting the game to end on post-match penalty shoot-out while blaming his defence for conceding the late equalizing goal during the game, saying their aim is to go to the regional competition in Senegal.
For his part, the assistant coach of the Daily Observer team, Bekai Njie, described his team as the best team in the competition despite losing to GCAA in the final. He blamed the post-match penalty loss on the dark as the game ended late, saying his goalkeeper is very good on penalty shoot-out but was not seeing the ball well.
“If we were asked about playing the shoot-out we could have said no, because it was dark and goalkeepers were not seeing the ball,” Njie said.
He however admitted that there was some weaknesses in his side during the first half, but that coming to the second half they were able to utilise their chances and made tactical changes which paid dividend.
He said the Daily Observer team is a young team with quality players, and hopes to maintain the team.
by Jainaba D. Jatta