#Article (Archive)

Gambian clubs to stand firm in CAF Club Championship

Mar 6, 2012, 4:03 PM | Article By: Sainabou Kujabi-Njie

The Gambia’s first division clubs Gamtel and Brikama United, who booked their tickets to the second round of the CAF Club Championship last weekend against their Senegalese opponents, are set for another crucial outing.

Gamtel have booked a date with West African opponents AS Real De Bamako of Mali, who enjoyed CAF’s bye.

The Malians are a familiar side in the CAF club championships where they have made numerous appearances and are now into their second appearance at the Confederation Cup.

Brikama United will have to face a North African opponent in the calibre of Esperance of Tunisia, the current African champions, also known as EST, who have so far made 11 appearances at the CAF Champions league level.

The Gambian clubs sailed to the second stage of the qualifiers by stunning Senegalese clubs on penalties.

They will first take on their opponents in Banjul in the first leg, at the same time, before travelling for the return leg next month.

FA cup champions Gamtel, who beat Cassa Sports 4-3 on penalties after both legs ended in a deadlock, will face AS Real De Bamako of Mali in the last weekend of March.

League champions Brikama United will face Esperance Tunisia in the next round starting in the last weekend of March when they will play host to the North Africans in Banjul.  Brikama United were able to see off US Ouakam by 3-1 on penalties in the preliminaries.

The Gambia duo are now tasked with the challenge of maintaining their place in the competition.

While Gamtel displayed skills in their well-taken penalty kicks to qualify, Brikama United put up wonderful performance to make it through to the next stage.

 Coach Tapha Manneh and boys and Brikama United head coach Sulayman Kuyateh are certainly ready for a more difficult combat.

Kuyateh has so far expressed satisfaction with his team as they progress to the next round of the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League.

Both matches will be played in the weekend of March 23 in Banjul.

The return leg will be played in the weekend of April 6 in Tunisia.

EST Tunisia is an experienced side in this competition. North African teams are always difficult to play against; therefore Brikama United are expected to prepare for the huge task ahead.