Against France, South Korea and Honduras
Young Scorpions Coach Lie Bojang has greeted Friday’s’ Under-20 World Cup draw with cautious optimism. He said the draw has pitted Gambia against Europe, Asia and South America and therefore a fair draw in terms of global reforestation in the group.
“I have always refused to fear any team just because the team has strong history of hype on paper. What I believe is a good preparation and self-belief because only what happiness on the 90 minute will count and I always inspire the boys to give their best in the 90 minute no matter the opposition,” he said.
According to the coach the cardinal principle is for the team to adhere to its tactics and game plan each time it goes into the pitch. “That is what has helped us to come this far,” he said.
Lie Bojang said his team has already started preparation and among his wish list is an early departure to Argentina and possible pre-tournament camping to acclimatise as well as play friendly matches, preferably against European, Asian and South American teams.
“That is what we are working out with the football federation and the government and hopefully that will come to fruition,” he said.
Coach Lie Bojang said Fifa has declared that only 21 players would be allowed in the tournament including three goal keepers. “This means that only 18 outfield players can go, that is a bit tight. But in any case, we would have to adjust and I think we may give priority to versatile players when it becomes too tight,” he said.
The tournament starting on 20 May in Argentina will be the Gambia’s second appearance at this global event. In Gambia’s last appearance in the competition in Canada in 2007, the team finished in the last 16 stages. The country actually qualified for the 2021 edition but the competition was cancelled due to the devastating effects of the Covid19 pandemic.
A total of 24 teams will compete in the event with the top two in each group and four of the third-place finishers making it into the round of 16.