Soon after losing 3-2 to Burundi in the World Cup qualifiers last night, Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet said even though he is disappointed, he wants to remain positive that his team will make a good run in the marathon 10-match qualifiers in Group 5.
Speaking to journalists at the post match conference, Tom added that his team took too easy goals from the Burundians and even though he had hoped the boys would do the repair work in the second half as they always do when they find themselves behind, it was not enough and it came too late yesterday.
“We created and missed some good chances and we could have led by one or two goals. But Burundi was very efficient with their crosses and they are known to have caused trouble for other teams too, including much recently, Namibia and Cameroon. It was curious that despite the fact that we have these tall guys we were scored from crosses but it is football and I am happy that we bounced back before half time,” he said.
The coach said his team had lot of ball possession in the second half but created too little chances. “We had a very attacking football with about six offensive players; attacking football is not always the guarantee to create opportunities. So, the early 3-1 score line was a surprise for me and I thought we might have had a penalty much earlier that we did but that did not come to pass. The final 3-2 scoreline came much too late naturally for us to bounce back. Am disappointed but am not beaten. This is football we have ten games to play and we would learn out of this and become stronger,” he said.
Up next for Gambia is Ivory Coast at the same venue in Tanzania on Monday.