By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
From a terrific and historic Africa Under 20 Cup of Nations in Egypt to qualifying the Young Scorpions to the FIFA U20 World Cup round of 16 with a game left to play in the group stages, The Gambia National U20 tactician, Abdoulie Bojang said they want to write their names into the history books of the Gambia as they set sight on delivering the country’s best appearance in the FIFA World Cup in Argentina, looking nothing further than winning the trophy.
After what could be described as a stunning performance against pre-tournament favourites France in a 2-1 win, Abdoulie Bojang outlined they are taking it game by game but hinted that he and the whole team are looking to carve their names into the annals of Gambian football history.
He said there is no other target now after booking a place in the round 16 except winning the competition.
“We also want to write our names in the history book of the Gambia; this is always what we focus on. As I always say, we keep taking [it] game by game. That’s the most important thing, but we always have a target.
“In the WAFU, we wanted to qualify for the AFCON, and in the AFCON, we wanted to qualify for the World Cup, which we archived. I told them that this time, there is no other achievement that we can work on, but only to go for the trophy. But, let’s start it game by game,” Bojang told the press after the victory over France.
This is the second time the Gambia U20 is participating in the global competition, and just with two games less than the 2007 team in the World Cup in Canada, Abdoulie Bojang and his array of stars equalled the country’s record goals (4) in the competition and booked a place in the round of sixteen with a game left to play in their group. Thus, this array of stars is the first group of players to proceed to the next stage of the FIFA World Cup just after two matches.
An own goal in the thirteenth minute and a fabulous strike by Mamin Sanyang in the second half was all the Young Scorpions needed to inflict pain on France and eventually secure a place in the round 16 of the competition. This came following a 2-1 triumph over Honduras in the opening game.
Coach Abdoulie Bojang exalted his array of youngsters for the incredible performance in the two games. He outlined that the first two games have always been exceedingly significant for them.
The last time the Gambia U20 participated in the World Cup was in the 2007 edition in Canada. The Young Scorpions, led by Ousman Jallow, were booted out of the competition in the round of 16. They played four games and scored four goals, and only
managed to qualify after the last group game.
However, after 16 years of absence, Bojang returned the country to the competition. Just in two games, his boys produced four goals, two in each game, equaling the 2007 generation.
Prolific 18-year-old goal poacher, Adama Bojang is just a goal away from establishing another national record. If he scores again in the competition, he will be the country’s top scorer in the FIFA U20 World Cup. Already, he is the only and first-ever Gambian player to have scored a hat trick in a CAF continent competition.