By Afeseh Apong
The head coach of the scorpions of Gambia Tom Saintfiet, has declared that Cameroon are “the new champions of Africa.”
The Scorpions boss made this declaration during his post_match press conference, following his sides zero two defeat to the indomitable lions of Cameroon.
Two quick second half goals from Karl Toko Ekambi ended Gambia’s dream AFCON debut, which saw them reaching the last eight.
“I think we lost today to the new champions of Africa,” Tom Saintfiet said.
“We’re disappointed. The first goal I have to see it again but I think it was a mistake of the referee. It was a throw in for us because the ball was touched by a Cameroonian player. He gave it to Cameroon, they throw it and scored. Wrong decision but a painful wrong decision. Then for the second goal we were not standing well.”
“At two zero we took full control of the game and I saw a handball in the Cameroon’s box around the 60th minute, which could be a penalty and an opportunity to make it two one, and we could comeback in the game, So I’m disappointed. I don’t like to complain about the referee but three minutes of added time in a game full of injuries and where both teams made use of all their changes, I think that’s not correct.
“I’m disappointed that we’re going home because we would have loved to stay here. We faced a strong 40,000 people here today, but I must say that I’m very proud of my team. We want to thank Cameroon for a fantastic tournament and I think we will bounce back in future,” Sadi Tom Saintfiet.
Gambia’s maiden AFCON participation saw them winning three of their five games, one draw and one defeat.
Tom Saintfiet is noted for his inspirational team talks, but seemingly didn’t succeed in getting the best out of his team against Cameroon.
“The difficulty with Cameroon is that they do a lot of movements, and lots of changes in their positioning. They have Two players at the right and two at the left who are always changing positions. It gives lots of problems to our defense. In the first half we didn’t have control of the game and lose every balls and with Aboubakar Vincent the top scorer, Toko Ekambi who is good technically and dribbling. It is very difficult to defend. For me Cameroon is a very strong team with lots of qualities,” Tom Saintfiet said of Cameroon’s qualities.
Should Tom Saintfiet’s prophecy on Cameroon becoming the new Champions of Africa, then it will be great news for the host Nation, who are chasing their sixth continental crown.
So far Conceição and his boys have won four of their five games in the competition, with the only draw been a one all tie against Cape Verde. Cameroon plays the winner of the Egypt vs Morocco game at the Semi final.
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