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Gambia's Football Veterans Emerge Winners in International Championships

Dec 30, 2008, 6:48 AM | Article By: Sarr Thomas reporting from Thies, Senegal

Former 'Glories' of The Gambia national teams have over the weekend emerged victorious in the first of a series of international championships held in Thies, Senegal.

While Mauritania suffered a crushing 5-1 defeat at the hands of their Senegalese counterparts, The Gambia squad for their part registered a convincing 2-0 victory over Senegal's veterans of Thies.

In The Gambia/Senegal match the scoring was opened as early as the 9th minute by striker Abdou Rahman Jinadou(formerly of Starlight FC and Real De Banjul respectively). The striker received a long overhead coil pass from defender Joseph Gomez (alias Joe Tennis) which deceived the Senegalese back four and found its way to the feet of the waiting Jinadou. Being clearly not in an off-side position, striker Jinadou dashed forward into the wide open space between defenders and their goalkeeper who was forced to come out for a possible challenge on the lone striker. Junadou however, found the inside netting on a rebound after is first striker was deflected by the Senegalese goalkeeper.Thereafter a build-up of pressure on the Senegalese side became visibly overwhelming and relentless. The second Gambian goal then followed shortly after in the 18th minute of play from second striker Malamin Badjie, capturing a pass from midfielder Essa Faye, the fleet- footed former Wallidan ace forward, raced into space towards the Senegalese goal mouth. The advancing Senegalese keeper found himself cleverly beaten with a disparaging lob. It was Gambia 2 and Senegal 0 a scoreline The Gambia maintained to the final whistle.

At the end of the tournament it was Gambia that picked up the coveted trophy, and that had the honour to host the 2009 tournament series which is now to include Mali and possibly Guinea or Guinea-Bissau.

Post-Match Comments

Alhaji Biri Njie (Technical Adviser): we won the match alright. But the Senegalese played a better tactical game with continual dangerous penetration from their left flank. Also our goalkeeper Malick Camara made two brilliant saves that could have cost us dearly otherwise. All the same our boys played with greater fitness.

Baboucarr Joof (Team Manager): yes, it was a good and experienced Senegalese side. What kept us on top of the game was the team work and fitness generated from intensive training in Banjul including numerous test matches against strong nawettan teams and against the scorpions fan club. I am happy with the team's performance and hope they continue hard practice for further encounters.

Diaw Dos Santos(Senegalese Captain): Gambia played a strong game. They showed a lot of fitness and occupied the field spaces very well. We tried to balance things in the second half, but Gambia resisted on fitness. It was too late for us. But I'm specially happy there was good spirit all around which I cherish more that than the medals.

Abdou MC Jallow (Gambian Captain): It was a match. But it appeared to me that the boys came all out to maintain the Gambian flag in Senegal. The friendly atmosphere was just superb, and that makes me very happy too. Of course my dream would have been to take more trophies to our dear president and friend, HE Professor Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh. We dedicate this trophy to this great patron and supporter of football, among other great attributes.

Alhaji ML Conteh (Committee Member): observing from the Gambian Bench I would say that the score really did not reflect the state of play on the field as a few more goals could have been registered. But the score nevertheless has been enough to signal.