#Article (Archive)

U-17 Coach upbeat over Gambia’s chances in qualifiers

Nov 10, 2010, 12:47 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The Gambia’s national U-17 team head coach Lamin Sambou remains upbeat over the Baby Scorpions’ chances of reaching the finals of the 2011 African U-17 championship in Rwanda, despite his failed attempt to guide the Gambia to victory in Tunisia at the weekend

Sambou and his youngsters, who left the shores of The Gambia last Wednesday to play away in Tunisia in the 1st leg of the final rounds of the African U-17 qualifiers against the Tunisian national U-17 team,  lost 3-2 to the North Africans.

Their hope of snatching at least a point was dealt a massive blow when the seemingly inexperienced Gambian side conceded a late goal to succumb to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of their Tunisian counterparts amidst huge disappointment from the Gambian fans, who were on the verge of celebrating what could have been a famous draw, with the second and final legs to follow in a fortnight’s time in Banjul.

Captain Buba Jallow, who netted a brace, restored the Baby Scorpions’ hope of any victory when he converted his second goal three minutes to stoppage time as the two-time African champions twice came from behind to cancel their opponents’ advantage in a rather pulsating afternoon for the Gambian outfit.

But a last minute gasp from the Tunisian player came too late too little for the Baby Scorpions to overturn their 3-2 deficit, which coach Sambou put down to inexperience of the Gambian defence, who were “too much complacent” at the back.

The U-17 team, who have undeniably the most impressive record in the continental youth football in recent years, returned to Banjul via Dakar on Monday morning on the back of a defeat in Tunis but their coach is full of hope regarding his team’s chances of overturning a 3-2 defeat in Banjul.

Promoted to the position of head coach following the departure of former Egyptian coach Tarik Siagy, Sambou said the result was not a bad one with two vital and crucial away goals already at their disposal.

“We have almost snatched a 2-2 draw but unfortunately we conceded a last minute goal to loose the game owing to lack of experience from the defence line,” Sambou, aka LS, added.

Despite the setback, hopes are still high regarding the team’s chances of qualifying to the Rwanda Championship and of proceeding to defending the titles they won in 2005 in Banjul and in 2009 in Algiers.

Read Other Articles In Article (Archive)