- Friday, 06 September 2013
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
The Scorpions of Gambia hosts the Taifa Stars of Tanzania in a dead-rubber 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier match at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on Saturday September 7.
Both teams have already been eliminated from qualifying for the showpiece finals in Brazil, but could gain a morale-boosting victory to end off.
Cote d’Ivoire have already claimed top spot in the pool, while it has also been decided that Gambia will finish last.
The carrot being dangled for Tanzania is the opportunity to finish above Morocco in second, something that would be seen as an excellent achievement for the East African side.
The only previous meeting between the two sides was in the reverse fixture in Dar es Salaam in June last year.
On that occasion Gambia took an early lead through Momodou Ceesay, but second-half goals from Shomari Kapombe and Erasto Nyoni (penalty) handed the Tanzanians the win.
The Taifa Stars arrived safely in Gambia on Thursday without seven key players. Among the notable absentee who were unable to link up with the team owing to injuries include DR Congo-based Strikers Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu who ply their trade at TP Mazembe.
Other injured players missing in the trip are: Salum Abubakari, John Bocco, (Azam), Kelvin Yondani, Athuman Idd, (Yanga) and Shomari Kapombe (AS Cannes, France) who could not arrive in time.
Gambia meanwhile will miss the services of giant goalkeeper Pa Dembo Touray, who received a knock while training with his South African National First Division side Engen Santos.
Pa Dembo was provisionally named in coach Peter Bonu Johnson’s squad of ten invited foreign-based players but an injury he suffered while on training with Santos led to his exclusion from the 23-man squad list.
Another player that was included in Bonu Johnson’s list was former Kazma Sporting Club defender Abdou Jammeh, who inevitably departed the Scorpions’ camp on Tuesday afternoon for a trial with an unnamed Kuwaiti club.
Defenders Kebba Ceesay of Lech Poznań, Portland Timbers’ Mamadou ‘Futty’ Danso, Lamin ‘Basmen’ Samateh of NK Lokomotiva Zagreb and attackers Ibou Sawaneh of OH Leuven, Middlesbrough’s Mustapha Carayol, Juve Stabia’s Ali Sowe and Macoumba Kandji of Levadiakos were all left out by the coach leaving Momodou ‘Zico’ Ceesay as the team’s only foreign-based striker.
Gambia has managed just a single point from their five games so far and anything they can get out of this one will be a bonus.
Below is Gambia’s 23-man squad list expected to face Tanzania:
1. Christopher Allen – Gambia Ports Authority
2. Bubacarr Sanyang – Gambia Armed Forces
3. Alhagie Nyabally – Real de Banjul
4. Gregory Sambou – Young Africans
5. Bubacarr Sanneh – Real de Banjul
6. Pa Antou Badjan – Gambia Ports Authority
7. Saihou Omar Saho – Brikama United
8. Modou Jatta – Steve Biko
9. Nuha Barrow – Gamtel
10. Matarr Nyan – Gamtel
11. Sulayman Marreh – Samger
12. Omar Colley – Kuopion Palloseura [KuPS]
13. Ebrima Sohna – FC Vostok
14. Mustapha ‘Toubabo’ Jarju – RAEC Mons
15. Abdoulie ‘Kenny’ Mansally – Real Salt Lake
16. Saloum Faal – Cassa Sport
17. Hamza Barry – Valletta FC
18. Tijan Jaiteh – Sandefjord Fotball
19. Demba Savage – HJK Helsinki
20. Ousman Manneh – Steve Biko
21. Assan Ceesay – Gamtel
22. Ebou Kanteh – Brikama United
23. Momodou ‘Zico’ Ceesay – FC Kairat Almaty
1. Modou Sowe – Team Administrator
2. Peter Bonu Johnson – Head Coach
3. Abdoulie Bojang – Assistant Coach
4. Badou Ceesay – Goalkeeper Coach
5. Kalifa Manneh – Medic
6. Pa Matarr Ndow – Medic
7. Amadou Jaiteh – Kits Manager