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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Scorpions sting Pirates 5 times to save ship

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By Lamin Cham

Recovering from a five-game losing streak, Gambia beat Seychelles 5-1 in a Group H World Cup qualifier in Morocco on Saturday to present a pleasant gift to new coach Jonathan McKinstry. It is also the first win for the country in this marathon 2026 ten – match World Cup qualifiers.

The first person to score in this new era was Muhammed Badamosi whose brace was added on by Musa Barrow, the dazzling winger Yankuba Minteh and fresh comer Adama Sidibeh.

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Ryan Henriette scored the lone goal of the Pirates.

Writing in the African Football.com, journalist Graame Jackson wrote: The Gambia took control of the game early on and claimed the lead just 10 minutes after the kick-off via Mohamed Badamosi, who was assisted by Omar Gaye.

However, Seychelles were able to hit back just four minutes later, with a strike from Ryan Henriette making it 1-1.

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And the Pirates were able to frustrate their ‘hosts’ through the remainder of the first half, ensuring the teams were level at the break.

The Scorpions were much improved in the second stanza and reclaimed the lead via a Musa Barrow penalty in the 52nd minute.

And they quickly added to their advantage, with Yankuba Minteh finding the back of the net on 55 minutes to make it 3-1 and open up some daylight between the teams.

Around the midway point of the second half, Gambia struck again through Badamosi to extend their lead to 4-1 and effectively secure the victory.

There was still time left for substitute Adama Sidibeh to make it 5-1 in the 78th minute, as the Scorpions turned on the style in the final phase of the match.

The teams will return to action on Tuesday 11 June with Seychelles at ‘home’ to Burundi in Berkane, while Gambia will visit Gabon in Franceville.


The victory came as new era in Gambian football dawned under new coach Jonathan McKinstry. The Northern Ireland man said it is a giant step towards the march to perfect the philosophy he wants to instill in his team.

Gambian fans were thrilled by the sheer brilliance and exploratory style displayed by the team, as opposed to the monotonous defensive style it was known for.

“Yes, Seychelles may not be a football super power but the joy is the beautiful game and impressive courage and confidence that the boys have demonstrated. The real test will be tomorrow against Gabon. The addition of new young players and the reshuffling of the old ones have added both flair and maturity in their game,” said Musa Sise president of the Sports journalists Association.

The Scorpions though they remained in fifth place – six points off the pace set by leaders Cote d’Ivoire. But at least the Pirates are off the ship which remains on course.

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