Feb 12, 2013, 11:39 AM
The Gambia National U20 squad will rub shoulders with the Junior Elephants of Ivory Coast in an eagerly awaited final round of the African U-20 qualifiers for Libya 2010 at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on Saturday.
The weekend encounter, which promises to produce a mouthwatering clash between the two West Africans countries, is part of the first leg of the African U-20 qualifiers en route to Libya where the big event is scheduled to take place next year.
The Gambian team, led by local coach Lamin Sarr who failed to guide the team to the Rwanda championship last year, has since their resounding 4-1 aggregate win over Sierra Leone continued their preparatory programmes against Ivory Coast, who arrived in Banjul barely three days before the big event.
Hopes are high regarding the team's chances to go all the way despite their dismal performance in last year's qualifiers.
Moroccan officials have been appointed to take charge of Gambian's second round of the 17th Orange African U-20 Championship and their West African opponents.
They are central referee El Ahrach Bouachaib, to be assisted by fellow country men Quarqori Mohamed and El Mehraji Abdelaziz.
The fourth referee is Tiaz Hicham.
Ivory Coast saw off the Ngorongoro Heroes of Tanzania to end their dreams of making their maiden appearance in the Africa Youth Championship finals. They beat them 1-0 in the first leg and settled to a 1-1 draw in the return leg to book their qualification to the second round.
Ivory Coast striker Toure Cheick, who plays for Fulham in England, was one of the team's players who were pleased to reach this round of the qualifiers and is hoping to put up a respectable performance on Saturday.