By Arfang M.S. Camara
Scorpions of The Gambia have continued their fairy tales in their maiden Africa Cup of Nations tournament after defeating Guinea Conakry 1-0 in their round of 16 (knockout stage match) played at the Stade Ominisports de Bafoussam yesterday, Monday.
Musa Barrow scored the all-important goal for the Scorpions in the 71st minute to continue making history in the West African nation’s maiden Afcon tournament in Cameroon.
The Gambia made history by booking its place into the last eight on their first ever appearance at the finals in what was termed as West African derby.
Guinea’s Mohamed Bayo had a chance to put Guinea ahead earlier, while Musa Barrow looked the most likely to find the back of the net for The Gambia Afcon side in the first period.
Yesterday’s encounter ended with both teams having each of their players sent off for second yellow cards, and it was often bruising stuff but Guinea went out, and Gambia progressed.
Speaking in an interview shortly after the final whistle yesterday, Scorpions coach Tom Saintfiet expressed delight for making history for The Gambia at their maiden Afcon even though he felt sick and did not sleep the whole of Sunday night.
“We have nine people with stomach problems (diarrhea) due to food poisoning on Sunday night. We did not sleep last night and many players have to be changed. Even though I feel weak, I am very proud,” he said.
According to him, they made history and are not going home from the competition.
Musa Barrow, who was awarded the Man of the Match after the game said he feels so happy for helping his country (The Gambia) to win again and also winning the Man of the Match Award for the second time.
“I am really honored together with my teammates because we always stay focused, play as a team, defend as a team and today Allah helps us to secure the victory again,” he noted.
According to him, the win was something very big for The Gambia, adding that they reached this stage for The Gambian fans, their family and the whole country at large.
The Gambia is now through to the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations and will meet either Cameroon.
Meanwhile, Cuba Ambassador to The Gambia wrote on Twitter after the game that: “Another victory for #Gambia in the #Africa Cup of Nations in Football, this time against #GuineaConakry (1-0). Congratulations.”