Gambia aims to make mark at Africa Cup of Nations as they eye knockout stages


Gambia is gearing up for its second consecutive appearance in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, with the team aiming to replicate their impressive run in Cameroon, where they reached the quarterfinals of the competition.

The Scorpions are determined to make their mark on the tournament once again and have their sights set on advancing to the knockout stages.

Drawn into Group C, Gambia faces tough competition in the form of Senegal, Guinea, and Cameroon. Their group stage matches are scheduled as follows:

  • 15 January, 2024: Senegal vs. Cameroon at 2:00 PM GMT, Stade Charles-Konan-Banny, Yamoussoukro
  • 19 January, 2024: Guinea vs. Gambia at 8:00 PM GMT, Stade Charles-Konan-Banny, Yamoussoukro
  • 23 January, 2024: Gambia vs. Cameroon at 5:00 PM GMT, Stade de la Paix, Bouaké

Gambia’s path to qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations was highlighted by a historic moment on September 10, 2023, when they secured a crucial 2-2 draw against Congo-Brazzaville.

This thrilling encounter not only earned them a ticket to TotalEnergies AFCON 2023 but also denied their opponents, the Diables Rouges, a chance to qualify. Gambia finished in the second spot in Group G, accumulating 10 points during the qualification campaign.

One player to keep a close eye on during the tournament is Assan Ceesay. Known for his ability to exploit wide spaces, Ceesay is a speedy player who actively contributes to the team’s gameplay.

His versatility allows him to drop back from his midfield position to recover balls and deliver decisive passes.

Having shone in the Swiss league early in his professional career, Ceesay’s presence on the field embodies the qualities of an ideal forward, with unwavering dedication and generosity.

Leading the team from the sidelines is Coach Tom Saintfiet, a tactician known for his close relationship with his players.

Saintfiet’s coaching has already led Gambia to a historic moment when they qualified for their first TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in 2021. Now, the Belgian coach is determined to guide his team beyond the quarterfinal stage.

His preferred formation, a 4-3-3 that transitions into a 4-5-1 during defensive phases, emphasizes pressing and sustained activity on the field.

In the 2021 edition of the AFCON, Gambia reached the quarterfinals, a significant achievement for the nation.

With renewed confidence and determination, the Scorpions are ready to build on that success and make their presence felt in Ivory Coast as they aim for a memorable journey in TotalEnergies AFCON 2023.

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