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Congo shock defending champions

Jan 10, 2011, 3:20 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

Goals from Epako and a brace from the hero of the day Benguilla were all but enough for Congo to register a convincing start in the Rwanda championship with a deserved 3-0 win over the weakened Gambia side.

Yesterday's game played at the Umuganda stadium in Kigali has seen the Gambia U-17 side start the defence of their title with what was undeniably a dismal performance by the entire squad who spent the whole period of the game struggling to make an impact.

The two-time African champions, who enjoyed a three-week training camp in Egypt in the build-up to the Rwandan tournament, got off to a slow start into the game, in which they concede two quick goals in space of ten minutes due to some defensive blunders.

It was a moment of frustration for the Gambian side who could not make the best use of their scoring chances during the first period.

In the second period, the team, led by coach Lamin Sambou, continued their struggle by creating little chances which were not good enough to earn them a happy moment.

The defeat could be seen as a huge blow to the defending champions who need to overcome their disappointing start in the Rwanda campaign when they enter their second group B fixtures against Mali on Wednesday.

The Baby Scorpions will meet Ivory Coast in a crucial game three days later. 

The Gambia's group mate Ivory Coast upset their group opponent Mali 2-1 in a pulsating encounter to climb second place, behind Congo who earlier beat The Gambia 3-nil.

Hosts Rwanda and former winners Egypt got off in their campaigns on a winning note with 2-1 victories over Burkina Faso and Senegal respectively on Saturday at the Amahoro Stadium.