Thursday, July 25, 2024

Tom says The Gambia ‘will compete’ in AFCON despite tough draw

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

Tom Sainfeit, the coach of The Gambia national team, has acknowledged that their group is tough while also stating that the Scorpions are determined to compete against the bigger nations in the Africa Cup of Nations.

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The Scorpions are up for making history by winning against their neighbours, Senegal, in the opening game.

The Gambia are drawn in Group C, together with reigning champions Senegal, five-time winners Cameroon, and one-time finalist, Guinea Conakry.

The Belgian coach who led The Gambia to their first appearance in the Cameroon tournament told The Fatu Network that their group is very challenging and referred to it as the “group of death.” Nonetheless, he expressed his confidence in the Scorpions and their ability to compete.

“It is a very difficult group. It is a group of death. We are the underdog and Cameroon and Senegal are the big favourites to go, but we will prepare ourselves because we need to be a hundred per cent ready. Getting out of this group with giants of African football will be very tough, but we are there to compete with all of them,” The Gambian gaffer said.

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With The Gambia preparing for the first-ever AFCON Senegambia derby, Tom believes it would be a great feeling to defeat the reigning champions in the opening game. He explained that it is the kind of match they have been anticipating for many years.

“If we win against neighbours Senegal, history will be made. We are an ambitious team, and we will prepare a hundred per cent for the games,” he said.

In the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, The Gambia reached the quarterfinals, where they lost against Cameroon by two goals to nil, a nation they have been drawn within Group C for the 2024 AFCON.

He hopes that the majority of his players will be a hundred per cent fit to compete and surprise football fans in the continental.

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All four nations in group C have made it from the group stages in the last AFCON. Senegal and Cameroon, the two favourites on paper, went on to play the World Cup in Qatar.

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