Gambians have reacted with strong disappointment following last night’s shock 7-2 defeat at the hands of Morocco’s Under-23. The Gambia national team began a three- match Afcon preparation camp with a rare 7-2 humiliation prompting outrage among the soccer crazy population riding on the excitement of a first Afcon appearance next year. ”This coach cannot take us to a good Afcon. This is a big flop and we need to correct this before it is too late. Are the boys on some sort of protest or what,” are some of the comments on social media. Others of course understood the situation and begged for calm and more time for the team to prepare. ”We must not be alarmed or panic ahead of this most important assignment in January. This coach is good at his work,” some commentators said.
Reacting to the result, Coach Tom Sainfiet admitted the result was disappointing but said it was good that it came now and not at Afcon which would have been catastrophic. “Now we can learn and critically analyse this match ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Sierra Leone,” he said. He said the match was not an official Fifa recognised friendly match and it was only out of respect for Morocco which helped organise the camp that they play against their Under -23.”We wanted to test as many players as possible too. But also, we did not underrate the team because we knew they are strong with many professional players from top clubs there. However we under performed and we need to stand up and put heads up,” he said.
The Coach said some key players too did not feature because they are nursing suspected injuries and you don’t want to risk playing them in this unofficial match. ” But hopefully against Sierra Leone Saturday, we would come stronger,” he said. The Gambia will complete the camp with a match against South Sudan on 12th October.