By Sulayman Bah
Abdou Jammeh, Mamut Saine and their Finnish premier League side RoPS today face a herculean task in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.
They square adversaries and Croatian giants Lokomotiva Zagreb 4:00pm local time in Gambia with the first-leg taking place in Finland’s capital Helsinki.The second-leg occurs seven days later in Zagreb Croatia.
Jammeh who is captain of the Gambia national team and his club’s skipper needs to get the better of the visitors in either ties to qualify to stand a chance. Hopes remain high with RoPS coming into the clash having won a league game against Inter-Turku to stay afloat.
Mamut Saine was offered a brief sabbatical in that game even though he got named on the substitutes’ bench. The move is aimed at helping keep the Gambian fresh ahead of today’s cracking episode which the Finnish outfit are buoyed of winning.
Should they go beyond this stage, the duo will have only two more hurdles to beat to reach the championship proper for the first time.
By then, the pair would have matched feats of Demba Savage and Pa Modou Jagne who remain, to this age, the only Gambian players to have ever featured in the Europa League since its rebranding from Uefa Cup.
But as things stand, they will have to sashay over Lokomotiva to begin such a monstrous dream.