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Gambia v Cameroon: An unprecedented quarterfinal

Report by CAF

Match: Gambia v Cameroon
Date: 29 January 2022
Time: 07:00 PM (16:00 GMT)
Venue: Japoma Stadium, Douala

Debutants Gambia face hosts Cameroon in an unprecedented quarterfinal that promises a lot of excitement on Saturday in Douala.

The Scorpions challenge the Indomitable Lions for the quarterfinal clash of the ongoing TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.

Hosts and five-time champions Cameroon may seem like favorites, but they have to face an emerging force in continental football, The Gambia.

 

Gambia players celebrate arter Musa Barrow (c) scores (2)

Gambia – Fairytale with a new chapter

The Gambia made it all the way through the qualifiers starting from the preliminary round, passing a group that had DR Congo, Angola and Gabon to the finals, where they have drawn with Mali and beaten Mauritania, Tunisia and Guinea to reach the final eight.

Despite feeling the AFCON for the very first time, The Scorpions have shown that Cameroonians cannot even imagine taking them lightly.

Led by Belgian Tom Saintfiet, Gambia will look once more to the lethal striking force of Ablie Jallow and Moussa Barrow who netted twice each to the moment.

Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet (3)

What they said

Tom Saintfiet (Coach, Gambia)

“Cameroon, one of the greatest nations in African and even world football, is the big favorite. I give my team a 20 percent chance. But we are used to it and since I took office, it has always been the case. We had to fight against stronger teams than us and we managed to get by. Against Cameroon, we will not be afraid, we will play to the fullest. It’s a bonus match. We visited Limbé, Bafoussam and now Douala, and we want to continue to Yaoundé”.

Ablie Jallow (Midfielder, Gambia)

“It will be a tough match, but we are well prepared to go for the win. As in previous games, we will put all the assets on our side to pass. Cameroon will be accompanied by its fans; they are the ones under pressure. We will play our game with the firm intention of going through.”

Karl Toko of Cameroon celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Last 16 match between Cameroon and Comoros

Cameroon – One step forward

Three wins and a draw for hosts Cameroon guided them to the quarterfinals, where they face another debutant after going through fellow newcomers Comoros in the Round of 16.

Captain Vincent Abubakar led by example to the moment, scoring six goals in four games, to become the first player since 1998 to reach this milestone in AFCON finals. Now he is looking for even more while aiming with The Indomitable Lions for one more step towards the ultimate.

A sixth AFCON title is the dream of everyone in Cameroon, and coach Antonio “Toni” Conceicao knows well an uneasy game against Gambia is another hurdle to pass to achieve that dream.

Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao

What they said

Antonio “Toni” Conceiçao (Coach, Cameroon)

“We have managed a positive course, a satisfactory record so far. Against Gambia, the objective is to win. We are a playful team that likes to take the game on its own. Against us. there will be a team that defends well and has 5-6 high quality attacking players. everything is possible even if we only consider victory.”

Jean Charles Castelleto (Defender, Cameroon)

“I am very happy to take part in this competition, everything is going very well, we have had a good run so far and against Gambia, the objective remains victory. We will play against a good team. In Douala, we have good memories. The reception is fantastic and we expect to have a popular fervor behind the team”.

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