Feb 26, 2010, 2:13 PM
Gambia national U-20 star midfielder Lamin Sarjo Samateh, who played an integral part in helping the darling Scorpions reached the semi finals of the just ended international youth football tournament in Sierra Leone has revealed his experience during the course of the two week tournament in an interview with Pointsport yesterday afternoon.
The team returned home from Freetown at the weekend with seven points out of four matches but crashed out of the tournament after conceding a 3-1 defeat in the hands of Ghana in the semi final last Friday.
But Samateh, who broke his way into the U-20 starting line-up in their 1-nil win over Ivory Coast in Abidjan that ensured Gambia's qualification for Libya championship has told Pointsport that he and his team mates have learnt a lot during the course of the just ended eight team tournament.
"It was a great experience for all of us and the tournament in particular has presented us with the unique opportunity to play against some big footballing nations like Sierra Leone and Ghana who have giving us a good taste," said Samateh who scored Gambia's winner at the expense of Ojoko FC of Nigeria in the opening game of the tournament.
"We played extremely well in all our matches but we were unfortunate to succumb to a 3-1 penalty shootout defeat against Ghana that could send us through to the final," Samateh told Pointsport.
And apart from that the tournament was a good experience particularly for some few new players in the team, added Samateh who also set-up Gambia's first goal for goalkeeper Musa Camara to convert from a penalty spot.
"The tournament was a very good one and we have learnt a lot in Sierra Leone and hopefully we will continue to prepare better and better before the start of the African U-20 youth championship in Libya next march," the Samger playmaker told our reporter.
The team booked its ticket for Libya 2011 after eliminating much fancied Ivorian U-20 team thanks to a deserved 2-nil aggregate win over the West African opponents.
Coach Lamin Sarr and his charges will be setting their sight firmly on emulating the U-17 team’s success of winning the continental title when the U-20 championship takes centre stage in Tripoli in three months time.