By Sulayman Bah
Celebration-gripped Gambian players after the match
Gambia picked up their first point of the Gabon qualifiers after
holding off hosts South Africa on Saturday.
Scorpions played out a hard fought goalless draw at the Moses stadium
in Durban, one of the 2010 World Cup hosting venues, in a match thatkicked off five hours later than the scheduled time as the officiating
Madagascan referees turned up late.
A completely new set of players held out for this one-all draw match
against Uganda thus leading fans to express hope that Raoul Savoy will
be sticking to his new guns as the Gambia returns to proper senior
international competition following the lifting of its suspension from
Despite the wishes, the Swiss-born Gambian gaffer opted for experience
instead with Modou Barrow and Pa Amat Dibba being the only fresh
South Africa nonetheless did not only make home support to count but
were also dominating from start to finish over a Gambian team which
chose to retreat to the back foot.
For the Scorpions’ exclusive defensive play, it meant a busy schedule
for goalkeeper Alagie Modou Jobe, the Niarry Tally FC net-minder, who
was preferred over the Finnish-born Gambian mate Sam Jammeh, lived up
to the billing by preventing onslaughts unleashed by the rampaging
With Jobe proving reliable, the Ousman Koli, Omar Colley, Abdou Jammeh
and Pa Modou Jagne back-four set up formed a solid defence that
ensured there was no faltering. Notwithstanding, SA had a go at the
visitors, forcing Jobe, in an early scare, with a free-kick that sent
the ball between his legs but which luckily went out of play for a
South Africa’s best chance arguably came two minutes from time when
Ntshangase, with only the Gambian keeper between him and the post,
rifled the ball wide.to the dismay of a 20,000 fans.
Gambia was denied a penalty when a South African defender appeared to
handle the ball in the box from a Modou Barrow’s shot.
Striker Pa Dibba had a single chance but chose to connect to Modou
Barrow with goal at his mercy eventually settling for a goalless
Gambia’s next match will be against Cameroon in September.
By Sulayman Bah