By: Bubacarr Fallaboweh
The Gambia will host Mali on Tuesday for the second leg at the Mohammed V Stadium in a 2023 AFCON Group G qualifier.
Gambian coach Tom Saintfiet has only lost twice back-to-back against Angola. They also lost to Kosovo and Sierra Leone. Group G, South Sudan, and the Gambia have three points.
Saintfiet changes brought dividends, and it was lively to see Hamza Barry, Ali Sowe, and Abdoulie Sanyang joining Ebrima Colley in the second half.
A similar indication is bound to happen as we wish to see Tom ringing the changes to the starting XI on Tuesday.
Hamza Barry, Alfusainey Jatta, Ali Sowe, and one of Ebrima Colley or Abdoulie Sanyang are all expected to start. There is an option for changes in the defense with one personnel.
Mali dominated the midfield and still has depth, even though Kamory Doumbia and Nene Dorgeles joined the U23 return leg against Senegal.
Moussa Djenepo and Mohamed Camara of Monaco were unused on Friday’s encounter even though Samassekou was on the bench.
Mali is a quality side that can still hurt the Gambia, with the ultimate goal being to claim three points to give them 12 points.
The Gambia can’t afford to sit behind; Mali will try to win in the first half and settle the game.
Ali Sowe and Omar Colley have rallied behind the fans calling for a positive turn of fortune, which the Gambia will need to qualify for the next edition.
Gambia was the surprise package in the AFCON in Cameroon as they put up a great show in their maiden appearance by reaching the last eight.
The nation is behind them as they seek to make it to their second AFCON; they must be a more drilled Malian side to get their dream on course.
It will be a physical game judging from previous meetings between the two countries, but the side that stays resolute at the back and utilizes the chances that come their way will amass the three maximum points.