Feb 16, 2009, 6:35 AM
Defending FA Cup champions Gamtel FC on Saturday defeated the Gambia Ports Authority FC by 2-0 in the final of the FA Cup competition played in a heavy downpour of rain at the Banjul Mini-stadium to retain their title.
The 33rd and 81st minutes goals of skipper Matarr Nyan and striker Assan Ceesay were all but enough to earn Mustapha Manneh’s side a 2-0 win over the 2009-2010 Gambia Football Association League champions.
The game was dominated by Peter Bonu Johnson’s GPA, who created numerous goal-scoring opportunities during the match but failed to capitalise on them.
Alasana Jarju, Hamza Barry, Antouman Badjan, Hatab Badjie and Kebba Bah all had chances for the GPA but could not convert their opportunities resulting in the game ending 2-0 in favour of Gamtel.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the game, Mustapha Manneh, head coach of Gamtel, said he was happy with the performance of his players and for also retaining the title but it was due to collective work from the coaching staff, the players, the executive and the fans.
“They all did a lot for the team and I have to thank everybody,” he said. “The formation we are using is not the same with that of the Gambia Ports Authority because they use 3-5-2 formation, which is not very good for Gamtel, because we have very skillful flank players and if you want to play such formation against us you have to be very cautious because if you do not we will use your flanks to penetrate and that was what happened today.”
He noted: “I believe that Gamtel FC are among the best teams in the country and I also believe that we have the best players in the league. Maybe the players did not understand very well the team set of Ports but I believe Gamtel FC have the best players now because all players are at their top forms. The players can do anything if there is motivation and that is what happened today.”
“We are going to prepare for WAFU from here and our target is to come back here with something for the nation.”
Peter Bonu Johnson, head coach of the GPA, said: “We are disappointed but I think the rain changed the whole course of the match. We just have to congratulate Gamtel FC.”
“It is unfortunate that we have to lose in this fashion; you cannot play good football in such a pitch. It is unfortunate the rain had to come and caused so many interruptions on the pitch. It is very difficult to play in such circumstances.”
He added: “We created the chances but in most of these chances the water had to hold the ball. However we have to accept it and congratulate Gamtel FC.
“If it were not for the rain it would have been a different thing because the rain started when we started dominating the whole game.
“You cannot do anything with nature and we would say we lost the game honourably because we played well and everyone who watched the match would know that the result of the game did not show what happened during the game.
“We prepared the boys well and everything was according to plan but it is difficult to tell a player to hold the ball when it is raining, as direct football is not our style.
“Let the players hold their heads high because they played good football but luck was not on their side.”
While urging them to prepare for next season, coach Bonu Johnson said: “We made one or two mistakes and Gamtel FC capitalised on them but this is football.
“It is a good achievement that we finished third in the league and second in the FA Cup competition.”
He also said: “We have very young players and I think our losing to Jaaraf at home here in the champions league took its toll on the players,” he noted, adding that they just have to learn from it and ensure it does not happen again.