Sep 9, 2011, 2:18 PM
The Gambia national Under-20 team's hope of having a good start to the Caf U-20 Youth Championship was dealt an immense blow after they succumbed to a hard fought and narrow 1- nil defeat against Cameroon in the opening match of the eight-team youth tournament yesterday.
The Gambian team, who dominated the better part of the first period, found themselves 1-nil down in the 46th minute when Cameroon's Salli Edgar buried home his side's opener from a long range free-kick that could have easily been saved by the Gambian goalkeeper Musa Camara.
The Gambia could have overturned their 1-nil deficit through Lamin Sarjo Samateh but his effort was not good enough to earn the Darling Scorpions a happy moment.
The physically fit Cameroonians went into the second period with a totally different approach and piled pressure on the Gambian defence but their hope of adding more goals to their ranks fail to bear fruit.
The Gambian team, headed by Lamin Sarr, made few introductions in the persons of Ousman Jarju of Atletico Madrid, Pa Sulay Badjie and Baboucarr Jatta who replaced Ndow Kante, Lamin Sarjo Samateh and Mamut Saine in the second period, but the stars could not prevent the 2007 Bronze Medalists from conceding a narrow 1-nil defeat to group B mates.
The defeat means The Gambia will face a must-win situation as they continue their quest for the youth championship title with another crucial game against Ghana, who also lost 2-1 to Nigeria in their opener on Sunday.
The two sides will meet at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.