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Gambia eye 1st AFCON appearance

Jan 27, 2017, 12:26 PM | Article By: Lamin Darboe

The Gambia are eyeing their first-ever Africa Cup Nations appearance when the race for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers kicks off later this year.

The Gambia have never qualified for the continent’s biggest football fiesta since its inception in 1957, and came very close to qualifying for their first Africa Cup of Nations in 2010 hosted by Angola, but missed qualification berth due to CAF mathematical calculation.

The Gambia have been paired with Algeria, Togo and Benin in group D of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and will begin their qualifier campaign against Benin in June 2017, in Porto-Novo before hosting Algeria in their second game in September 2017, in Banjul.

Gambia will play against Togo in March 2018 in Lome and Banjul respectively before welcoming Benin in October 2018.

The Gambia will wrap up their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers away to Algeria in November 2018.

The Scorpions under the guidance of coach Sang Ndong will use the next four months to prepare his team fit enough for their crucial qualifiers against Algeria, Togo and Benin for a place in the continent’s biggest football gala for the first time in their history.

Only group winners, three best losers and the host nation Cameroon will play the finals in 2019.

It would be recalled that coach Sang Ndong replaced Raoul Savoy as head coach of the Gambia national team following their elimination from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Namibia.