Saintfiet not satisfied despite Gambia’s progress to 2021 Afcon group stage

Friday, October 18, 2019

(Tuesday 15th October 2019 Issue)

Scorpions head coach Tom Saintfiet has expressed dissatisfaction despite Gambia securing its place into the group stage of the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Saintfiet further expressed disappointment with his team nit being able to win Djibouti in the normal time during their second leg of the Afcon 2021 preliminary played at the Independence Stadium.

The Belgian coach was speaking in an interview with journalists shortly after The Gambia’s 3-2 on post-match penalty shootout win over Djibouti following a 1-1 draw in the return fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations preliminary.

Mahdi Houssein opened the score line for Djibouti after converting a penalty spot in the 9 minutes of the first half, while Ablie Jallow equalised for the Scorpions in the stoppage time of the first half before going for the break.

The Scorpions first drew 1-1 with the Shoremen of the Red Sea last Wednesday in Djibouti as they drew 2-2 on aggregate before heading for penalty kicks to decides the winner in which Scorpions goalkeeper Modou Jobe alias Toldo was the star during the kicks after making two great saves for the Gambian side.

Coach Sainfiet further said that the good thing is they are through to the group stage but as a coach he is unsatisfied they can’t win in the normal time. “I think today we played attacking and good combination football and created a lot of goal-scoring opportunity but I wanted to win in a normal game situation and not on penalties,” he said.

According to him the Scorpions should have scored before their counterparts, adding that we also had the opportunity to score more goals after Djibouti registered their goal.

He admitted the second period of the game was more difficult compared to the first period.

He highlighted that coming back from Djibouti was so difficult for them as they only had a night sleep as they travelled the other nights.

He conceded that he knew it wouldn’t be easy for them at home against Djibouti.

He added that they wanted to perform better than the first-leg because they wanted to play offensive football to put more pressure on their opponent, noting that they scored an own-goal in Djibouti but luckily they equalised.

For his part, Julian Mette, Djibouti coach expressed happiness with his players for putting up a great fight against the scorpions, saying that they have only one professional player compared to The Gambia.

He added that they tough that The Gambia will give them a heavy defeat at home and therefore applauded the great team fight from his players.

Author: Arfang M.S. Camara