Nov 7, 2013, 10:31 AM
Scorpions began the 2021 AFCON qualifiers in a way they never did before. A
resounding 3-1 away win to Angola signaled The Gambia’s desire and readiness to
make a continental debut at senior level.
After the impressive performance put out by the boys, Gambians at home and abroad celebrated endlessly, singing praises of the players and coach they once chastised. This shows that Gambians are tired of watching other nations at continental and world stages.
It also simply means that Gambians love victory. They can’t take anything less. They have long cried to the point that the majority lost hope in their national team.
But picking three points from a country that scooped six points from you some two or three months ago means the coach and his charges have matured quickly and are willing to stand up to the big boys in African football. Hopes are rejuvenated.
This also means consolidating the away win. The scorpions can’t afford to drop points at home. This might be disastrous to their campaign. It would mean that the victory against Angola was a fluke.
They need to win all their home matches to qualify to the AFCON. At least this is what footballing nations have and try to do. It is an open secret that it is tough to get three points away in African. Thus securing nine points from your home matches and three from either a single away win or three away draws guarantees one a spot in the continental showpiece. So one can say that The Gambia is on a solid foot to make a debut AFCON.
However, Coach Tom Sainfiet has played down his chances against his next opponent after humbling Angola away. He was quoted saying on the GFF official website that, DR Congo are a strong opponent ranking 54th on FIFA Coca Cola ranking.
“It is not going to be easy but this win gives us confidence and we need to recover well. A victory will be brilliant but even a draw is still good for us to go forward but we all intend to win all our matches. DR Congo are perhaps the favorites but we will prepare a team to win or at least a draw.”
The euphoria after the away victory was electric. Some have made sweeping comments as if The Gambia has already made it to the AFCON forgetting, we need at least 11 if not 12poimts to be registered in the book of AFCON.
Shall the confidence level remain high or we should be coy like the coach is?