In football, goals win games and going without them usually means serious damage to a team’s chances of getting ahead.
The 1-1 draw at home against Morocco when the African group phase of the 2014 World Cup kicked off last weekend has meant a wobbly start to what is likely to be a very difficult qualifying campaign for Gambia’s national football team, the Scorpions.
They, therefore, cannot afford to lose away to the Taifa Stars of Tanzania tomorrow if they are to have any real chance of making their first ever appearance in the World Cup finals. Gambia, Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania are in Group C, which also includes Morocco.
It might be difficult, but not impossible to advance. However, if they are to defy the odds in this strong group, like Angola did in 2006 when they qualified ahead of Nigeria, the Scorpions must show determination and focus.
After Saturday’s draw against the Moroccans, Coach Luciano Mancini could not bring himself to blaming his boys. He instead described the quality of his players as excellent and that he was happy with the draw!
Excellent? Well, maybe, but they have to demonstrate that on the pitch tomorrow by beating the Tanzanians, if they really aspire to be more than mere participants and proceed to secure a pride of place in the 2014 World Cup finals.