Feb 6, 2009, 5:20 AM
(Friday, 6th August 2010 issue)
The Gambia National U-20 team will begin the defence of their 4-1 demolition of Sierra Leone as they prepares for the return-leg of the African U-20 orange qualifying campaign in Freetown tomorrow.
The Baby Scorpions who enjoyed a sweet victory to put one foot into the qualification berth has since Wednesday afternoon travelled to Freetown at the back of a convincing win over the visitors in Banjul, a fortnight ago, thanks to goals from Mamut Saine, Alasanna Camara and a brace from talismanic forward Buba Jallow, Melez.
They needed at least a draw to salvage a 3-goal deficit and Lamin Sarr, the head coach of the in-form Gambian side prior to the team’s departure said the U-20 can definitely progress to the next stage of the championship, despite the exclusion of playmaker Saihou Gassama,who has failed to make up the 18-man squad to Freetown.
But the team’s hope of keeping hold on their massive advantage is boosted with the inclusion of rocky defender, Lamin Samateh (Bassmen), who has been called up to link up with the rest of teammates, as well as Armed Forces midfield maestro Babucarr Savage.
Samateh's inclusion is expected to end criticism regarding the poor defensive display in the first match which culminated in Sierra Leone’s opener to the disappointment of entire footballing nation.
Sarr whose managerial position has come under threat after a string of dismal performances, following his failure to guide the team to the 2009 Championship knows that any thing less than a qualification berth could prove disastrous once again, considering the massive goal advantage.
Almameh Touray, the Head Coach of shooting stars is still confident of overturning a 3-goal advantage, but he knows the fact that his team will face an uphill task of going through despite their home advantage.
Should The Gambia progress to the next stage, they will meet the winner between Tanzania and Ivory Coast.