- Wednesday, 09 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
The Gambia selected U-19 team began their campaign with a heavy and painful defeat to Slovenia in the opening game of the Italy invitational tournament after the Gambia were dented a two goal nil margin at full time.
Slovenia since at the struck of the mark, got Gambia under pressure with passes from left, right and center until in the 10th minute when a deflected shot was neatly saved by goalkeeper Baboucarr Sanyang.
The Gambia begun the composure through Hamza Barry and captain Mamut Saine in the middle with passes upfront to Ali Sowe and Saloum Faal. But chances which came by the Gambia were all squandred away and blocked by the Slovenians.
Saloum Faal’s miss in an empty goal area was the first alert as Goal keeper Cotman Aljaz’s attempt to parry the shot was bad but could only elude him over the bar. The Gambia continued to build in attack in Mamut Saine and Ali Sowe when the later powered a coiling header but flicked away with a finger tip save by the Slovenia man between the sticks half way into the first period.
First half ended stalemate and The Gambia resumed the second period with vigor to get the back of the Slovenian net. Marksman Ali Sowe continued the dangerous moves in the penalty area but could not do much for his side.
Two penalty claims were conspicious but the Italian referee would not blow in Gambia’s favors. Slovenia broke the jinx in the 55th minute through a wide range shot from Zaja Miha after midfielders fail to close the gaps. Bubacarr Sanyang strectched wide but could not save his side from nullifying it.
The Gambia regrouped themselves and Head Coach Peter Bonu Johnson then brought in Lamin Sarjo Samateh, Musa Bojang and Dawda Sisoho to bridge the lost but the changes again did not do good for Bonu Johnson as Slovenia added salt to Gambia’s injury in the 87th minute after defender Musa Yaffa and Antou Badjan with the help of their mid fielders loose connections from the back.
The Gambia will now play their second game on Wednesday against hosts Italy. In the other Group B game played on Tuesday, Romania beat San Marino by a goal to nil.