By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
Two countries — with striking resemblance — in spelling and pronunciation, with the slightest discerner being the letters G and Z in the names: Gambia and Zambia. The two nations with similar names and vision in the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt are set to clash in a mouth-watering game in Haras El Hodoub stadium at 17:00 GMT today. The match, which is tipped to be a nail-biting showdown, could potentially seal qualification to the next round of the competition as both teams aspire to live the dream of reaching the semis.
The Scorpions of the Gambia had a brilliant opener with a win against Tunisia. The win put Abdoulie Bojang’s boys top of the group, as Benin, Zambia game failed to produce a winner.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the young scorpions’ gaffer said the game is a must-not-lose game. The attack-minded gaffer said his team cannot afford to lose, noting that it is either they sting Zambia or settle for a draw, but cannot lose against the Zambian side who are undefeated in their last six games in the Africa U20 Cup of nations.
“It is a must-not-lose game. We’ll win and secure the qualification at an early stage, which is the most important thing at this point.”
Bojang acknowledged that the game will not be an easy encounter but noted that there is more pressure on the Zambian side than the young scorpions because it is a must-win game for them.
The head coach of the Zambian national U20 team, Chisi Mbewe’s told reporters that the young scorpions are a good side but asserted that his team is prepared to face the young scorpions.
“Going into this game against the Gambia, we have prepared, and we have worked on our weaknesses from the first game going into this game”.
The Gambia managed to record three clean sheets in their last four games in the competition.
Gambia and Zambia both compete with a primary target of securing qualification for the U20 World Cup.
A win for the young scorpions will secure them an automatic qualification to the next round and a win for Zambia could see them to the second round depending on the result between Tunisia and Benin. The game will kick off at 5 pm Gambia time.