Gambia’s fairy tale continues

By Anashe Murombedzi

DEBUTANTS Gambia continue to make waves at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after making it to the quarter finals at the expense of Guinea.

The Africa Cup of Nations lowest-ranked side held on to a 1-0 win against Guinea which saw the debutants booking a place in the quarter finals where they will take on hosts Cameroon.

Ranked 150 in the world the Scorpions have been writing a Cinderella story with performances anchored on self determination and conviction.

Coached by Tom Saintfiet who was dismissed from Zimbabwe after a brief stint with the Warriors, Gambia has outshined seasoned campaigners with Guinea being the latest to fall by the wayside.

Gambia’s success is even more remarkable given the fact that defending champions Algeria, favourites Nigeria and African football giants Ghana have fallen by the wayside.

Meanwhile, the AFCON round of 16 commenced with a record of 5 red cards with at least one player being dismissed in each of the four matches that have been played so far.

The opening round of 16 encounter between Gabon and Burkina Faso set the tone for red cards with the panthers’ centre-back Sidney Obissa picking up a second caution in the 67th minute.

The red card saw Gabon playing the rest of the match including extra time one man down.

The second red card was during Tunisia’s 1-0 victory over Nigeria where Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi was sent off following a video assistant referee review.

Comoros went home slapped with another red card after Nadjim Abdou was booked in the seventh minute although they gave Cameroon a tough time in their 2-1 loss.

As if that was not enough, the Gambia versus Guinea clash saw both teams ending the match with ten men after Gambian’s Yusupha Njie was sent off three minutes before the end of the match while Guinea defender Ibrahim Conte got his marching orders in added time.