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Gambia Down Guinea Bissau In Veteran Opening Match

Jul 23, 2009, 7:40 AM

In a searing test of stamina, Guinea Bissau demonstrated classic football yet again, at the Independent Stadium in Bakau. It was the curtain raiser match of the sub- regional veteran's tournament, designed to promote peace, friendship and brotherliness in the West African sub-region. With music from the Gambia Police Band, the two teams stood poised for their national anthems.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Honourable Sheriff Gomez met both teams and match officials and also took the kick-off at the start of the game.

Following 10 minutes of weighing each other out, the two teams went into an all-out attack. The Gambia dominated the attack and also ball possession.

However, an unexpected counter-attack got Bissau on the score board in the 25th minute of play .Taking advantage of a lost possession from the Gambia's attack; a Bissau midfielder sparked a counter-attack and found Momodou Camara (No 8) on the run. Camara passed to their danger man, Isaac Viegas (No-10), who lost no time in shooting past the Gambian goalie.

The Gambian team which seemed after that point to lose some spirit, picked up the momentum again in the 2nd half with front line substitutes, a midfielder and a goalkeeper. The tempo changed dramatically, as the Gambian defender Joe Gomez (alias Joe Tennis) who was really the man of the match, kept supplying a relentless barrage of attacking passes supporting the advance of the new offensive line-up which now included Malamin Badgi, Birri- Birri, Abdou Rashid and Lang Tombong Tamba.

The pressure quickly dismantled the Bissau's defence, creating magnificent goals from Malamin Badgi and Alagie Njie Birri, who scored the winning goal. It was Rashid (alias R) who assisted both goals during the first in regular time and the second in extra time.

The Gambia won 2-1 after barely escaping defeat. The next day matches are between Sierra Leone and Senegal and between Mauritania and Senegal (Dakar team).