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Thursday, June 20, 2024


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By Joshua Cole

Gabon will be looking to bounce back when they host Gambia at the Stade de Franceville  today in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The home side suffered a defeat on Friday in matchday three, while the visitors secured their first win of the campaign.

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Gabon dropped points for the first time in the World Cup qualifiers after a 1-0 loss to Ivory Coast at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium on Friday.

Despite the return of their in-form striker and record goalscorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Central Africans failed to score for the first time in the 2026 World qualifiers, unable to find an answer to Seko Fofana’s first-half goal.

The Panthers sit second in Group F with six points, three adrift of the top spot after three matches played.

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Thierry Mouyouma’s men are now winless in three consecutive matches across all competitions, with a draw against Congo separating defeats to Senegal and Ivory Coast.

Gabon will hope to return to winning ways today, but their record against Gambia is not encouraging.

In three meetings, the hosts have lost twice and won once, with each side winning one competitive game apiece, with the third being an international friendly.

Gambia got off the mark in the current World Cup qualifying campaign with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Seychelles at Stade Municipal de Berkane on Saturday.

Muhammed Badamosi scored a brace, while Musa Barrow, Yankuba Minteh, and Adama Sidibeh also got on the scoresheet to hand the Scorpions their first win in Group F.

This win ended a run of five straight defeats and a six-match winless run that included a disappointing 3-2 loss to Burundi in their opening match of the World Cup qualifiers, a 2-0 defeat to Ivory Coast in the same qualifiers, and losses in all three of their games during the last Africa Cup of Nations.

It was Johnathan McKinstry’s first game in charge since replacing Tom Saintfiet, who stepped down as Gambia’s head coach after five years following the AFCON group stage exit.

The next challenge for McKinstry will be securing a positive result against Gabon to help them leave the second-bottom position in Group F.

Gabon will hope the attacking trio that includes Aubameyang, Los Angeles FC forward Denis Bounga, and Jim Allevinah delivers this time as they are expected to stick with the same three up front.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mario Lemina will look to bring the spark from midfield alongside Guelor Kanga and Medwin Biteghe.

Gambia will likely count on the front four that delivered the goods last time out, with Badamosi spearheading the attack.

Minteh, Barrow and Alieu Fadera are the three players that are expected to provide support for the striker.

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