By Arfang M.S Camara
The Gambia U-20 head coach, Abdoulie Bojang has expressed disappointment after losing the 2022 WAFU Zone A championship final to their neighbours Senegal.
The Young Scorpions of The Gambia was beaten 1-0 by the Young Lions of Teranga during the West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone A championship played in Nouakchott, Mauritania on Sunday.
Samba Diallo made the only difference in the game by scoring the game’s only goal for the Senegalese in the 84th minute of the second half.
The victory avenged the Senegalese loss to The Gambia in the 2021 final on their home soil in Thies. The Young Lions of Teranga now beat The Gambia twice in the 2022 edition after their meeting on matchday four (4) of the group stages.
“Am not very disappointed for losing the final but thanked the organisers of the tournament for the successful staging of the championship. Our aims and objective were to defend the title but unfortunately, we lost despite putting in a respectable performance,” said The Gambia’s coach Abdoulie Bojang.
“Our intention was to win the game but unfortunately, we didn’t. The Senegalese side were better only in some parts of the second half and won the game in the end.”
Nonetheless, he said they have accepted the defeat in good faith, adding that this is football and one has to win. “Unfortunately, we became the loser. We will go back and prepare again for the Afcon next year.”
Meanwhile, The Gambia was awarded the Fair Play trophy and returned home as runners-up at the tournament in Mauritania.
The Gambia had reached the finals of the previous two WAFU Zone A U20 championships but have now managed to win only once against the same opponents, Senegal.
The young scorpions could not bring the Zone A U20 trophy back home, but qualified for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt alongside Senegal following their semi-final win against Mali in Mauritania.
Coach Abdoulie Bojang and charges are returning to a tournament where they finished as third-place medalists under former gaffer Matar M’bodge in Mauritania, 2021.