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Sunday, December 5, 2021


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The country is expected to be at standstill tomorrow evening with everyone trooping to the Stadium or glued to TV screens to watch the national team start a journey to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

In this first part of the journey, The Gambia must come out the winner with the highest number of points or aggregate in goals from the combined results of two matches to be played tomorrow Friday at the stadium and Tuesday, 10 September in Luanda, Angola.

Last week Coach Tom Saintfiet started the preparations by revealing his choice of players for the two matches.

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He said he will not beg Gambian players to play for their home side in response to the absence of three players, Hamza Barry, Steve Trawalley and Modou Barrow.

Tom has since gone to camp with his team and yesterday they had a closed door training expected to get him more time for him and crew to focus more on the preparation.

The Gambia have not played Angola for up to six years now and it is not clear how much has changed in Angola since then.

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The southern African nation once qualified to the world Cup and is one of the bigwigs in the region.

The country is rich in material and human resources and football is great passion of the 29 million population.

They landed last night on special flight which is leaving immediately after the match.

Officials yesterday said the Gambian camp is calm and brimming with confidence.

The squad contains 11 players who represented the Scorpions in coach Tom Saintfiet’s first ever game against Algeria in September 2018.

Among them Dawda Ngum just celebrated his birthday on Monday. Mamadou Danso at aged 36 is the oldest member of the Scorpions squad with Ebrima Colley, aged 19, the youngest.

Modou Jobe , Toldo, the goalkeeper is the most used player under Saintfiet, having clocked the full 630 minutes across all 7 games under the Belgian.

Currently he averages conceding a goal every 126 minutes, with a 100% penalty saving record.

Yusupha Njie returns to the Scorpions for the first time since the 0-1 defeat against Benin in June 2017.

The 25-year-old forward opened the scoring on the opening day of the season for his club Boavista in their 2-1 win over Desportivo Aves in the Portuguese top flight on 11th August.

Yusupha’s club colleague Mateus, aged 35, has been called up to the Angola squad for the qualifying series and was the captain during their last participation in the 2019 AFCON held in Egypt.

Forward Bubacarr Jobe tops the Scorpions goalscoring chart with 6 goals and 3 assists this season at his club.

Four players are still eligible for the U-23 Junior Scorpions national team which will play in the Wafu team in Dakar this month. They are Musa Barrow, Ebrima Colley, Sheikh Sibi and Bun Sanneh.

Ebrima Sohna is the only player to have previously scored against Angola when he opened the scoring in a 1-1 friendly international match held on 3rd January 2010.

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