In spite of the high optimism and the huge national publicity that preceded the Gambia-Cameroun match, The Scorpions narrowly lost to the Indomitable Lions in the 2017 AFCON qualifier match.
The match played at the Independence Stadium in the coastal town of Bakau, was watched by over 25, 000 spectators, the actual capacity of the country’s only national pitch.
Sunday’s game came hard on the heels of Saturday’s group encounter in Nouakchott where Mauritania shocked 10-man South Africa 3-1.
In the opening group game in June, Cameroon edged Mauritania at home 1-0 while the Gambia Scorpions held the Bafana Bafana to a goalless draw in South Africa.
That all important draw that was seen as an evolution of Gambian football at that level highly injected a great sense of optimism in both the players and the fans ahead of the game. It resulted to massive turn out of fans, filling the 25, 000 seats at the Stadium for the first time in a very long time.
The Gambians put up a respectable performance for a team like Cameroun, who were clearly on the defense line, but could not penetrate. A defensive error would cost The Scorpions and send them to a drawing board ahead of the other group matches.
“The players did very well and I am very satisfied with the performance. Even the Cameroon Coach Volke Finke admitted to me that they were lucky to win the game,” Swiss hired coach, Raoul Savoy told journalists in a post-match interview.
“It is just one mistake and they defeated us at home. We had discussed with the players in the morning before the game that the Cameroon team are experienced players and if we make mistakes, they can punish us,” he said.