Oct 17, 2012, 9:43 AM
Bonu Johnson is still confident that the Gambia will be able to turn their fortune around when the Scorpions meet Algeria in the return leg of the preliminary round of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers in June.
The Scorpions lost 2-1 at home to Algeria with a team that failed to impress despite home advantage.
Bonu, who just had only one month to prepare the Scorpions after his recent signing, said some of the players arrived very late for the Game, which is one of the contributing factors to the defeat.
Coach Johnson, who was open enough to point out lack of fitness on some of the players as another factor to Wednesday’s defeat, is still hopeful of a Scorpions win in Algeria, speaking shortly at a press conference after the game.
“The tie is not yet over. Things can change in Algeria,” the former Gambian player who was hoping for Scorpions’ comfortable win at home, stated.
He said his task is to improve on the midfield, which was clearly dominated by the Algerians as well as the defence that could not contain the North Africans, Wednesday.
The Scorpions defeat, which left spectators and football fans dissatisfied and discouraged, could be described as one among many disappointments to football followers, who invaded the Independence Stadium with national pride before a disappointing result.
The Scorpions, who were booed and thrown plastic bags of water at by fans at the Stadium, left the football pitch silently.
Algerian coach Vahid Halilozie, in comments, said:” I was happy about the performance of my players. We needed this win because since five years, we never won an away match. So this victory is a boost not only for my team and the Algerian FA officials. We had a disadvantage on the nature of the field. It was not satisfactory to play.”
The Bosnian coach also said: “I expressed my anger against the Malian referee who disallowed our first goal. But nevertheless with the good preparation of my players and the commitment they have to win, is a plus not only for me as a new coach but also the Algerian people. My immediate task is to make sure we are qualified for the 2013 African Cup of Nations and the World Cup.”
He said the players deserved the victory because they dominated the game and created more chances. With the return match in June they will do their utmost to qualify, he said.
Defeat Bad - Minister
Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Alieu K. Jammeh, commenting on the match, said: “First of all we thank the President His Excellency for all the support and efforts we have made towards this game.
“But we feel very bad about this defeat because the entire government was here to give the boys the encouragement and we were hoping to beat the Algerians so that we can qualify to the Nations Cup and the World Cup.”
He pointed out that none did see determination in the boys, like in previous games, despite all the encouragement accorded them
The second leg will take place in Algiers in June with the winner advancing to the final round of the qualifiers.