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Gamtel FC advance to quarterfinals in FA Cup

Jun 22, 2012, 3:09 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Defending FA Cup champions Gamtel FC on Wednesday defeated Steve Biko FC 3-2 on penalty kicks in the FA Cup competition game played at the Serrekunda East Mini Stadium after a 0-0 draw on regulation time.

Ali Sowe missed a penalty for Gamtel FC in the 29th minute of the game when Hamang Conteh was brought down inside Steve Biko’s eighteen-yard box and also went on to lose his spot kick again during the penalty shootouts after blasting his spot kick on the cross bar.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the game, Mustapha Manneh, head coach of Gamtel began by thanking God for giving them the victory.

He said the win was very good for the team, noting that they prepared mentally and tactically for the game because “physically players are suffering at the moment”.

Their aim is to defend the title, he said, adding: “Already the cup is in our Managing Director’s Office, so we want to retain it there.”

Talking about the secret of Gamtel FC in the FA Cup, he said: “We prepare the players mentally. Players understand that when we lose the league, at least in the year we have to compensate the management with something and interestingly the FA Cup is the last competition in Gambian football calendar, so when we lose the league we always make sure that we take the FA Cup.”

“We are suffering very badly,” he said, describing 2011-12 as a very difficult season for them in terms of injuries.

He also said they suffered a lot of injuries as well as fatigue, which had its toll on the boys that about 8 key players of his team were absent in their game against Stave Biko FC because of injuries.

“So we normally go to our feeder team to replace them in our team, which is definitely working well for us,” he stated further, adding that he was even “surprise” at the way they played against Steve Biko FC.

“If you look at Steve Biko FC also you see a lot of new faces from their feeder team,” he said. “I think if all teams prepare their teams like this, Gambian football can go to higher levels.”

Abdoulie Bojang, head coach of Steve Biko FC, said penalties were there to decide and that penalties is luck but noted that both teams played well.

“We were unfortunate that we did not score during the game,” he said, while wishing Gamtel FC luck in the rest of the competition.

He also stated that they always have to improve as a team, noting that they have improved a lot this season in terms of position, goals and games won.

He stated further that, if they keep it up, they will achieve what they want.

He was however not happy with referee Mawdo Jallow’s officiating, whom he said was awarding Gamtel FC unnecessary fouls.

“I am not saying that he should help us but he should play fairly so that the best team can win,” he remarked.

The fixtures for the quarterfinals are as follows:

A.  Lk Untd FC Vs.Seaview FC - Sat. 23/6/12 - Father Cough

B.GPAFCVs. Interior  FC  - Sat. 23/6/12 - Banjul

C.Y/Africans FC Vs. Sait Matty FC - Sun. 24/6/12 - Banjul

D.Starlight FC Vs. Gamtel FC  - Sun. 24/6/12 - Ind. Stadium.