- Monday, 14 May 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
The Gambia U-19 team and delegation will return to Banjul on Tuesday morning after a weeklong sojourn in Italy at the invitation of the Italian Amatuer Football Federation as part of the 3rd edition of their international football tournament.
The Gambia U-19 played two matches in the tournament and exited without a win after losing to Slovenia 2-0 in their opening account and drew hosts Italy 1-1 but could not proceed to the finals.
Cognizance of the bilateral ties The Ministry of Youth and Sports and Italy are arranging for the Gambia Football Association [GFA], the Gambia team and delegation have been given preference to stay in Gubbio and Perugia to engage in practice matches. The Junior Scorpions on Friday beat Serie D side SC Trestina 2-0 with goals from Dawda Sisoho and Saloum Faal.
The team was also been joined by Permanent Secretary MOYS Mambaynick Njie at the Trestina stadium who earlier arrived in Perugia for talks with the Italy officials about cooperation and technical assistance between the two countries. The team later left Gubbio for Perugia the provincial capital of Umbria to complete the rest of their stay.
The team on Saturday was taken on a touristic tour of Perugia’s historical area which houses the main centres of Italy’s colonial buildings in the high hills of the city. The tour further took the team to the city’s shopping mall where only a few players and officials could buy items because of the high cost.
Sunday was the final but last practice match for the Gambia U-19 against a local selection in Perugia. The match played at the Federation headquarters playing pitch was just less than five minutes walk from the team Hotel Plaza.
Although very cold on the day, the lads trekked to the ground and mercilessly beat the home side 5-1 with Gambia’s goals from Ali Sowe [hat trick], Musa Bojang and Hamza Barry each with a goal.
The Perugia side were consoled with a Ricardo second half goal after collecting a neatly sent pass from the middle and just beat his marker to slot in the lone goal for his side. Peter Bonu Johnson effected substitutions but the score-line remained the same and finally ended 5-1 for the Gambia.
The Gambian team will today morning drive to Rome to pick up their flight on Royal Air Maroc and are expected in Banjul on Tuesday morning. News from the Gambian camp has it that Italian football officials would be in Banjul in June as guests of the MOYS and GFA to formally sign the Memorandum of Understanding between them and The Gambian authorities.
The visiting officials would also be at the Independence stadium to watch the Gambia vs. Morocco in the World Cup qualifier.