Regulation time of the third/fourth place playoffs ended goalless and Gambian keeper Lamin Saidy proved the hero, saving two penalties from the Tunisians to ensure his side equal their best ever finish at the competition, following the footsteps of the 2007 generation.
Captain Tijan Muhammed Marr also produced his best performance of the tournament on the day with a scintillating display of technical ability.
Speaking in a post-match press conference, head coach Matarr M’Boge was full of praises for his players for their relentless efforts, consistency and commitment throughout the tourney. “I’m very proud of my boys”.
We have really struggled all the way here with difficulties and I’m sure not many would have predicted after losing to Morocco in the first game that Gambia will end up going to the semi-finals and even winning the bronze medal,” he said.
The gaffer also thanked The Gambia Football Federation through its President Mr. Lamin Kaba Bajo, the government and the Moroccan Football Federation for their tireless efforts in supporting his team reach this level.
On the cancellation of the World Cup, M’Boge and his Tunisian counterpart both appealed to FIFA and CAF to reconsider their decision and give an opportunity to the players to achieve a lifetime dream of playing at a global stage, noting that too many efforts were galvanized to reach this level.
“This is the only opportunity for these players to play in an U-20 World Cup”, he said.
“We are honestly desperate to see these boys at that highest level, whatever it takes. So, we really implore on FIFA and CAF leaderships to really find a solution because the four teams that have got here deserve it.
There is so much talent in them, they have played the best in Africa and now want to play against the top in the world. This aids their development,” they both echoed.