The Gambia Scorpions have failed to qualify for Ghana 2008 Nations Cup finals, but their qualifying round matches can serve as a good lesson to learn from.
This year was the Scorpions’ year, and it is indeed astonishing that the of-late in-form Scorpions failed to capitalise on the rare chance.
Nonetheless, the team has proved a point in their last three fixtures. Hearts were delighted when Gambia settled for a 2-2 draw away to the Syli Nationales in Conakry. The good run was maintained when they held Cape Verde to a goalless draw in Praia before beating Algeria in the final qualifier fixture played in Banjul.
The three matches manifested the in-favour Scorpions’ efforts to qualify for the keenly anticipated Ghana finals, but it was too late for them to prove their consistency after a lackluster start.
The Scorpions were made to pay a dear price for not only the Algeria first-leg defeat in Algiers, but also the grave 0-2 defeat at the hands of Syli Nationales in Banjul.
It would have been a different story, if the Scorpions had beaten Guinea in Banjul, knowing that no nation forfeits her home advantage nowadays.
But with these mixed memories lingering in our minds, one would hope that the Scorpions will, in their subsequent qualifying competitions, take every match, particularly home matches, as a final.
The Ghana 2008 qualifiers saw the Scorpions earn one of their best qualifying records. Despite their failure to accomplish the mission, the back-breaking win against the likes of Algeria and coming from behind to reach level terms with Guinea, will undisputedly help Gambia better her position in the world football ranking. The inclusion of the youngsters in the team that used to be dominated by oldsters will also bolster up the squad’s strength as the South Africa 2010 World Cup qualifiers draw nearer.