Kouame and Fofana hands Scorpions second defeat


By Baboucarr Fallaboweh

Ivory Coast handed the Scorpions its second World Cup qualifiers defeat following a 2-0 scoreline with goals from Christian Kouame and Seko Fofana.  

Tom who was leading the Gambia to its fourth official World Cup match rang in changes to the team that played against Burundi on Thursday.

Buba Sanneh, Saidy Janko, Dawda Ngum, and Alieu Fadera all earned a start in a 4-5-1 formation. Jackobs Mendy of Wrexham AFC made his debut for the Scorpions and becomes the 37th debutant under Tom Saintfiet. Musa Barrow played False 9 as Ceesay dropped to the bench. 


Experienced Serge Aurier, Willy Boly, Seko Fofana, and Frank Kessie all started for the Ivorians.  

Brighton’s young star Adingra Simon made the starting lineup once again for the Elephants. 

Sebastian Haller, Jeremy Boga and Nottingham Forest Ibrahim Sanghare were all on the bench for the the 2006 World Cup participant’s. 

The Ivorians kept most of the balls but the defensive walls of the Gambia kept pushing them back. They reverted to using the wings with a breakthrough almost possible but Diakite’s chest control was just wide resulting in a goal kick for the Gambians in the 14th minute.  

Fadera had a great afternoon and when the opportunity arose, he dribbled in the 21st minute. His shot was blocked, and Jallow’s follow-up effort was also blocked on the left side of the field. 

Modou Jobe maintained his position and was called to action in the 27th minute by blocking Hamed JR Traore’s effort. With 10 minutes remaining before Halftime, Hamed sent in a critical cross from corner, Jobe dealt with it by punching it out of danger.  

The Ivorians kept knocking and the breakthrough almost came in the 42nd minute of the game only to see Kouame’s effort hit the woodwork. On the stroke of half time, the Gambian resilient was broken, and the Elephants took the lead, Jobe saved from Diaktie but moments later he was beaten by Christian Koume as the Elephants took a deserved lead.

The Gambia started brightly upon resumption of action and went on the offensive which yielded dividends as they earned their first corner.  

The Gambia earned a freekick after Saidy Janko was brought down by Hassane Kamara, it should have been 1-1 but Musa Barrow’s effort hit the side netting.  

Salzburg forward Karim Konateh had the chance to make it 2-0 in the 69th minute but his shot went over the bar.   

The Elephants kept on searching for the second goal as Kessie had his shot blocked by captain Omar Colley.  

Tom made his first change when Ebrima Colley replaced Dawda Ngum and Badamoesi also came in for Alieu Fadera. 

Hopes were ruined when Seko Fofana scored a long range in the 85th minute as the Gambia left Tanzania with 0 points in their two World Cup matches.  

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Baboucarr Fallaboweh Sports Editor (Buba Jallow Fallaboweh) is a Gambian football expert, football analyst & columnist. The Stockholm-based Journalist is a media officer, football Scout, PR, Influencer and Digital creator. I started my journalism career as a football analyst in 2012 with Vibes FM and went on to work with CityLimit, West Coast, Hot FM, Freedom Radio, Eye Africa and Afri Radio as a content producer and presenter. In 2013, I attended Football Daily on the BBC SPORTS where we discussed the different styles of Football played in Africa. I Went on to freelance for The Point Newspaper, Freedom Newspaper, Daily Observer and Standard Newspaper before being appointed as Sports Editor with the Alkamba Times in March 2022.  I have worked for Magazines like Glo Magazine and Foot54 covering Gambian football and African Football.   Between 2020 -2021 I worked as a scout for the Gambia Football Federation, scouting talents for the U17 &U20.  From 2017 to 2021, I served as Media officer for GFF First division teams Team Rhino and Marimoo and also as media Officer of Banjul FC, fourth Division tier in Sweden and Darboe’s FC (Female second division club in the Gambia). I served as a PR for Superstars Academy.   With Afrencon, I was a data analyst before I joined LightHouse as a head scout for the Gambia project. In organizational structures, I served as the ambassador of the John Bass Kidney Foundation and one of the founders of the foundation creating kidney awareness in the Gambia.   I also served two positions in the Gambian organization in Sweden, as Sports chairman and the secretary of the associations.   After 12 years of being a football journalist, I was named 3rd best sports column writer in Africa year 2021 by the reputable sports media organization AIPS. I finished in the top 35 in the world with my article titled Back way: Gambian footballers in deadly Voyage to Europe.   With over 500 articles and interviews, analysis, profiling, features and news, I was shortlisted for the Gambia Press Union National Journalist Award 2022. I submitted the article which was co-written alongside Momodou Bah From Living Through Despair to Being An Agent Of Hope, The Inspiring Story Of John Bass.   I have served as an advisers to Football academies, clubs, and players and others. I have hosted dozens of shows and was invited as a guest on both radio, TV and the online press. I also covered the Gambia's maiden AFCON debut in 2021 in Cameroon.  

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