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Gambia U-20 face must-win situation

Apr 21, 2011, 2:46 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia national Under-20 team will tomorrow go into the 17th Caf U-20 Youth Championship clash with champions Ghana needing a must-win situation to avoid the risk of early elimination from the eight-team continental Youth competition currently taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Coach Lamin Sarr and his charges a day after their unfortunate opening game defeat to Cameroon, resumed intensive training sessions with his team as he looks forward to helping his young lads recover from what was a shocking start to the campaign by the Darling Scorpions.

The Gambian team’s hope of having a good start to the Johannesburg championship was dealt an immense blow after they succumbed to a hard fought and narrow 1- nil win over Cameroon in the opening match of the eight-team youth tournament at the Dobsonville Stadium on Monday.

That defeat was met with shock and disappointment by the Gambian people back home with only few now remain hopeful of the young lads’ chances of overturning the 1-nil deficit, going into another crucial tie with champions Ghana who also succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Nigeria last Sunday.

The Gambian team, who dominated the better part of the first period during their opener four days ago, 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 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 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 Medalist from conceding a narrow 1-nil defeat to group B mates.

The defeat means The Gambia have found itself in a rather complicated position in this crucial group B fixtures, meaning they need to collect six points in succession to be on the safe side as four points might not even guarantee them a place in the Fifa U-20 World Cup due to commence in Colombia next July.