Apr 28, 2011, 2:18 PM
The defending FA Cup champions, Gamtel FC, have reached the finals again after defeating Real De Banjul FC by a goal to nil in their re-scheduled semi final match played at the Serrekunda East Mini Stadium on Saturday.
Modou Sarr scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute from a powerful strike to send the telecommunication giants, Gamtel FC, to the final, and they will be facing the Gambia Ports Authority FC, at the Banjul Mini Stadium on Saturday 1st October 2011.
Both teams started the game brightly by knocking the ball around in a muddy pitch during the first period of the game, but the second half of the game was even worst, when it was rocked by a heavy downpour of rain, resulting in both teams not being able to play the ball the way they wanted.
The first clear chance of the game went to Gamtel FC in the 17th minute, when Ali Sowe had a golden opportunity to put his side ahead, but blasted his shot wide.
Ten minutes later, Modou Njie Sarr had a free header, to open the score line for Real De Banjul FC, but his weak effort was saved for a corner kick, by goalkeeper Musa Camara.
Substitute Francis Senghore also had a free header to open the score line for Real De Banjul FC in the 66th minute of the game, but his header went over the cross bar for a goal kick to Gamtel FC.
Modou Sarr scored the only goal of the game for Gamtel FC which sent them to the finals, with just two minutes remaining on the clock, from a wonderful shot that left goalkeeper Alagie Modou Jobe helpless.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the game, Mustapha Manneh, head coach of Gamtel FC, said he was happy with the win, adding that they would prepare very well for final against the Gambia Ports Authority FC on Saturday.
“We played well, both tactically and technically, and the performance of both teams was very good”, he said, adding, “I respect Real De Banjul FC because they played very well and stretched us up to the end, but nonetheless, at the end, we knew we were going to win”.
“We should have won since the first game, but our strikers were not concentrating very much on that game, which resulted in us losing most of our chances”, he added.
“Modou Sarr is one of our key strikers, and he is one of the best players we have in the team”, he stated about his goal scorer, adding that he was happy and not surprised, because “in most of our crucial games” he scored for them and that, “as a striker, you score in big games”.
“We knew that we were going to win, and we were here to win during the game, because we cannot afford to go for penalty kicks this time round”, he added.
“The chances are good for Gamtel FC to defend our trophy, and we are going to do that”, he continued, when asked what their chances were in the finals against the Gambia Ports Authority FC.
When asked on what side he is studying the Gambia Ports Authority ahead of the final, he said, “It is not necessary to study the Gambia Ports Authority FC because we have been playing with them for quite a long time”, noting that both teams knew each other very well, and that it would not be a new thing when they meet again on Saturday.
“I’m not good at predicting, but we are going to defend our title”, he concluded, when asked about his predictions for the finals.
Alagie Sarr, head coach of Real De Banjul FC, said, “we played very well, but unfortunately we lost today’s game”, adding that, “I have nobody to blame, because I’m not going to say it is the rain”.
“It will look like I’m running away from the defeat when I say that it is the rain”, he noted, adding that, “it is normal in football, because you can play without the rain, and even lose”.
“Both teams could not even play the ball as they wanted, but I think the referee wanted to make sure the game finished so that the final can be played”, he stated, adding that both teams played very well during the game, but that it was hard luck to them.
“It was a very good semi final, because both teams performed very well, and I don’t think we made a mistake, because they only have a single chance, and scored it”, he remarked, adding that, they have taken the defeat in good faith.
“I said it since the beginning of the league, that I’m building a team and, fortunately, we reached this level (taking second position in the league, and also reaching the semi final of the FA Cup competition) which is very good for the team”, he noted, adding that, “I give credit to the boys, my coaching staff and the executive of Real De Banjul FC because we were just expecting to maintain the team in the first division league”.
“I have worked very hard with my coaching staff, the players and the executive of Real De Banjul FC”, he went on, adding that he has a good young team, on which he is going to work hard come next season.
When put to him that rumours have it that he might move to another club with much financial muscle next season, he said he is staying with Real De Banjul FC because he has a three-year contract with them, adding that he is happy at Real De Banjul FC and that he will look for more young talented players in the nawetan, and blend a very good team next season.
Modou Sarr, goal scorer for Gamtel FC, said he was happy scoring the only goal of the game that secured his team’s place in the finals of the FA Cup, adding that they really needed this victory.
“I know the importance of this goal that I scored, because all these past days the Gamtel management has been encouraging us to make sure we play well and reach the finals of the FA Cup competition”, he noted.
He further stated that they would prepare very well for the finals, and that it is going to be team work again as they did against Real De Banjul FC, adding that with that they would achieve what they want (that is, to retain the trophy).
Modou Sarr, whose aim is to play for any European team in the near future, stated that his aim is to become a professional football like any other player, and that he is working very hard towards that goal, adding that the only thing left is the support.