#Article (Archive)

Make or break encounter for Gambia tomorrow

Jan 14, 2011, 3:17 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia national U-17 team's fate in the 9th edition of CAF U-17 youth championship currently in progress in Rwanda lies in its own hands.

The team will face a make or break situation when they meet fellow West African opponents Ivory Coast in a crucial and decisive final group B game in Kigali tomorrow.

The Baby Scorpions, who beat Mali 1-nil on Wednesday to put their title hope back on track, must beat Ivory Coast to be guaranteed a place in both the semifinal stage of the tournament and a spot in the U-17 World Cup in Mexico later this year.

The Gambian team that won the competition twice in 2005 in Banjul and 2009 in Algiers  got off to a dismal start in the campaign after they were thumbed 3-nil by Congo Brazzaville a week ago, a result that was received with great shock and disappointment by Gambian fans back home.

But coach Lamin Sambou and his defending champions have succeeded in putting that disappointing defeat behind them by escaping with a narrow victory at the expense of helpless Malian team.

The match against Ivory Coast would definitely determine the country’s fate in the Rwanda tournament as they set their sight on collecting another vital three points to advance to the next stage of the competition.

Ivory Coast, already with four points in their last two matches, are currently occupying the top spot on the table with a better goal difference ahead of Congo also on four points.

The Gambia, in third place with 3 points, will be looking forward to celebrating what could be an opportune moment or chance for them to snatch their third silverware in six years.

Meanwhile, doubt remains over the fitness of first choice goalkeeper Baka Ceesay, who watched The Gambia’s game against Mali on the sideline due to injury.

But his replacement in the Gambia goalpost, Baboucar Sanyang, has had an outstanding game and could be a perfect substitute once again.