By Sulayman Bah
The FC Sion’s mammoth left-back put in a stellar show at the back helping tight up the Scorpions’ backline until his 64th minute howler denied Gambia a point.
The hardworking former the Gambia U-20 striker-turned stopper was caught out with a defensive blunder and Cameroon’s Benjamin Moukanjou wasted little time to pounce on the gaffe setting up Porto forward Vincent Aboubakar who coolly slotted past Kenya-based Gambian net-minder Alagie Nyabally.
That goal proved decisive sending the Indomitable Lions atop Group M on six points. But new Gambian head coach Raoul Savoy refused temptation to blame Pa Modou in post-match comment.
“I don’t blame my players. The boys have played very well and controlled the game. Cameroon is an experienced team,” he says.
Prior to start of the game, the Gambian team was hit by major withdrawals with striker Ousman Jallow pulling out for fitness issues even though he has been a regular for Finnish champions HJK.
Belgium-based Ibou Sawaneh earned an invitation but withdrew after picking up a last-gasp injury. Sweden-based Pa Amat Dibba instead was picked for what was his second cap for the senior team.
15-goal Bubacarr Trawally and Omar Jagne also got the call but despite these inclusions, the Scorpions fell short of breaking past the lions’ den.
“Some players were called but did not come. The strike is the problem. We have young, young players,” said the 41-year-old.
On Gambia chances qualification for the Gabon 2017 finals, Raoul concludes: “We have a chance of course but is going to be tough and very tough at that. We need to work on our remaining games and win.”