Coach Saintfiet satisfy with UAE draw, shift focus on S/Sudan game

Jun 1, 2022, 11:31 AM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

Tom Saintfiet, head coach of The Gambia senior national team, has expressed satisfaction with The Gambia’s draw against the United Arab Emirate (UAE) in their friendly encounter, noting that this is because The Gambia has never collected a point against a non-African team.

Coach Saintfiet made these remarks following The Gambia’s 1-1 draw against the United Arab Emirate (UAE), in a game played at the Zabeel Stadium on Sunday.

Ali Mabkhout gave the home side a first half lead from the penalty spot after Muhammed Sanneh was penalised for a foul.

Sanneh atoned for his error with a perfect solo run and his cross was turned in by Musa Barrow.

“This is the first time for The Gambia to secure a point against a team outside of Africa. All previous matches we played against non-African opponents, The Gambia lost them all,” he said.

“We are satisfied with the result even though a win was also possible. I have a mix-feeling and I am proud of the history we have recorded once more,” he said.

He added that his side played okay and did very well during the second half, resulting to a very good goal.

According to him, the game was very positive ahead of their upcoming qualifiers against South Sudan and Congo Brazzaville.

“This game shows how much potential we have. The UAE team won against South Korea in the qualification. UAE is in the running for the World Cup.”

“We want to win our home game against South Sudan on Saturday. We need to try and get nine points. We are not underrating any opponent but if we can steal a few points away, we will,” he also said.

He continued: “Last time we qualified with nine points but this time around we need 11 or 12 points to qualify, which must be possible. Let us go with a good start as we did in 2019 against Angola.”

He added that a good start against South Sudan in Thies, Senegal, would be very important in their quest for their second appearance in the AFCON tournament.