Gambia look to continue fairytale run

Gambia look to continue fairytale run
Gambia Celebrates during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Last 16 match between Guinea and Gambia on the 24 January 2022 at Kouekong Omnisports Stadium, Bafoussam, Cameroon / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 28, 2022. 10:06

Gambia will look to continue their fairytale run at the Africa Cup of Nations when they face tournament hosts Cameroon in a quarterfinal at the Japoma Stadium in Douala on the evening of Saturday 29 January 2022, kick-off at 18:00 CAT.

Gambia, AFCON debutants, have already secured legendary status just by reaching the final eight and will come into this clash full of confidence – and with nothing to lose. The Scorpions secured their quarterfinal spot with a 1-0 win over Guinea on Monday, with Musa Barrow scoring the only goal of the clash in Bafoussam.


“They [the players] are my heroes. It’s a real team, they’re not individuals but a team which plays together, with a dream, with a strategy, and each player is very disciplined and does everything to achieve this,” said coach Tom Saintfiet, who will be hoping to guide his team to even greater heights.

Cameroon, meanwhile, booked their place in the final eight with an unconvincing 2-1 win over another AFCON rookie, Comoros, on Monday night. The minnows, so badly stricken by Covid that they were unable to field a specialist goalkeeper, were beaten thanks to goals from Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar.

“We are not satisfied, because we encountered a lot of difficulties [against Comoros], it was a very unstable match, even if we had good moments,” said Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao.

He added, “The most important thing is that everyone calms down, emotionally […] there are other problems that we have to solve, we have to learn from this game.”

In head-to-head stats, Cameroon and Gambia have met in two previous matches – both in the qualification tournament for the 2017 AFCON – with the Indomitable Lions winning 1-0 in Bakau in September 2015 (thanks to a goal from Aboubakar) and 2-0 in Yaounde a year later (thanks to strikes from Benjamin Moukando and Toko Ekambi).

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