Scorpions’ show not enough

By Sulayman Bah

Despite renewed enthusiasm gaffer Raoul Savoy was left desolate as the Scorpions were subjected to their first defeat of the Saul 2campaign in front of booming spectators.

It was the Scorpions’ second match coming on the heels of a goalless draw against South Africa. But it took only a Vincent Aboubakar’s 64th minute effort to settle the duel.

Opting for experience and over exuberance, Savoy recalled a bevy of Paul Put’s era players with his front-line led by buccaneering forward Pa Amat Dibba. It was Swansea City Modou Barrow’s first cameo at home before Gambian fans.

Abdoulie Mansally earned a surprised start while Kebba Ceesay did a tidy job at right-back aided by an Abdou Jammeh –Futty Danso defence partnership.

Gambia’s chance fell to Mansally’s path whose eventual shot did no trouble to Cameroon’s goal. That profligacy was followed up with an open goal miss by Sulayman Marreh who couldn’t connect to a teasing cross from the right.

Cameroon’s Edgar Nicolas stepped onto the show for the visitors but headed wide in the 38th minute.

22-year-old Modou Barrow spiced up the crowd meandering past three markers surging into the opposing team’s box but Sanna Nyassi couldn’t get to end of his pass.

Vincent Aboubakar got on the end of a Moukandjo’s set-up rattling it past debutant-goalie Nyabally for the only goal, when play resumed later in the second period.

An array of substitutions followed from either side. China-based Bubacarr Steve Trawally and Omar Jagne were handed their home debuts as late entrants replacing Pa Dibba and a tired Sanna Nyassi.

Sainey –who last donned a Gambian jersey 2010 against Burkina Faso – got a go too but the Indomitable Lions stood their ground. The lions now top the group on six points with Mauritania second on three points. The Scorpions sit third on a point.

Gambia plays next month against Namibia in the preliminary rounds of the World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018.