U-20 Afcon: Captain Steps in to secure vital 1-0 win for young Scorpions

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By: Foday Manneh

In what looked like a challenging game, team captain Alagie Saine stepped in with an 84th-minute header from left-back Sainey Sanyang’s curled cross to secure a vital 1-0 win for the Gambia U20 against Tunisia in their Group C opener of the 2023 Total Energies African Cup of Nations on Tuesday.

The young Scorpions went closer on numerous occasions to breaking the deadlock before the interval with both Adama Bojang of Steve Biko and the Slavia Praha young striker, Ebrima Singhateh, coming very close to scoring — but to no avail, as the Tunisians remained solid behind.

Captain Alagie Saine celebrates winning the goal.

The Abdoulie Bojang boys maintained their dominance in the restart, but this time, focusing more on counterattacks and overlapping through the wings.

The moment came in the last 10 minutes when Kajally Drammeh lifted a cross forcing the Tunisian goalkeeper out of his line very quickly to punch the ball out to avoid what could not be avoided seconds later.

Left-back Sainey Sanyang met the ball from the goalkeeper’s save and sent in a fine cross, this time the new AC Horsens boy Alagie Saine, also the team captain, was there to ensure a goal for his side with a tricky header in the 84th minute.

The Gambia eventually defeated Tunisia 1-0, whom they have last played in the third-place decider of the last edition of the continent’s youth showpiece. Then, however, the young Scorpions got an edge over the young Carthage Eagles on penalty shootouts.

Team Gambia: Pa Ebou Dampha (GK), Sainey Sanyang, Alagie Saine (84’ goal), Mahmudu Bayo, Kajally Drammeh, Haruna Rasid Njie, Moses Jarju, Bakary Jawara, Alieu Gibba (Muhammed Sawaneh 63’), Ebrima Singhateh (Ba Lamin Sowe 63’), and Adama Bojang.

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