Gambia kicked off their three-match friendly tour in Turkey with an impressive 2-0 win over Niger on Saturday night at the Emir Sports Complex in Antalya.
RFC Seraing forward Ablie Jallow scored the first goal after 27 minutes, latching on to Musa Barrow’s through ball before rounding the Nigerien keeper Daouda Kassali and firing in his third senior international goal.
Niger’s Ousmane Dramane Diabate came close to levelling the score, but his goal bound free kick was pushed away by Gambia’s lanky keeper Baboucarr Gaye.
Second half substitute Muhammed Badamosi secured the victory with his first goal for his country 92 minute with a low effort past Kassali.
TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 bound Scorpions dominated the proceedings in the Turkey’s resort with Ebrima Darboe and Sulayman Marreh pulling the strings in midfield for Tom Saintfiet’s team.
The Belgian selected an experimental squad for the three friendlies against Niger, Togo (June 8) and Kosovo (June 11) ahead of their debut appearance at the continent’s flagship tournament in Cameroon.
AS Roma wonder kid Ebrima Darboe started on his debut alongside German born defender Leon Guwara and Robin Jatta. The Belgian said he was satisfied with his team’s performance.
“I was very satisfied, we had very good moments. I think we started the game very well in the first half scored a very goal through Ablie Jallow and created several good opportunities to score the second goal,” said Saintfiet.
“I remember a few from Assan Ceesay and Musa Barrow and I think we had to finish it off at that moment. The last ten minutes in the second half we dropped a little bit tempo and we lost a little bit of concentration but we didn’t give chances away because Niger were only dangerous when they had two free-kicks and our goalkeeper Baboucarr Gaye was very good with his saves.
“After the changes we took control of the match again and we had chances with Musa Juwara and Ebrima Colley before he was substituted and naturally the nice goal of Badamosi. In General I’m very satisfied we used four new players who made their debuts for the national team which is always good.”
The former Togo and Namibia coach is using the friendlies as an opportunity to test new players after including 10 uncapped players in 26 man squad.
“A lot of young players on the pitch we had a good result against a team who are 40 positions better than us in the FIFA ranking so normally we have to improve our ranking. I saw a lot of positive points and on the weak points we can work on them,” he added.
“The week of training was very successful we had in total six training sessions in four days for this match and the level was very high and the players were very motivated.
“There was quality training, I saw very good players, new players and the players I already know and if we can execute it on the pitch and win 2-0 without giving many opportunities away and create much opportunities but in general I’m satisfied by the team performance.”
Photo @ GFF