Minnows shine at AFCON as Gambia show Warriors the way

By Lawrence Trusida Sport Editor

With the Warriors struggling at AFCON, the so-called minnows in continental football, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, are making headlines in Cameroon.

Debutants Gambia were largely expected to be one of the weeping boys at AFCON.

However, the Scorpions have surprised all with effective football and credible results.

Gambia is the lowest ranked country at AFCON seating at number 46 of the CAF rankings, but they have just let the football do the talking and currently top Group F ahead of traditional giants Tunisia and Mali.

Led by Thomas Saintfiet who had one of the shortest stints with the Warriors after being deported out the country for working without a permit, Gambia also has the youngest squad at the tournament with an average age of 21.

And it seems the stone that the Warriors rejected has become the head cornerstone in Gambia.

But there is more to how Saintfiet was haunted out the country after conducting just one training session with some sections of the media playing a key role while others followed an agenda they knew very little about.

However, Gambia has shown the Warriors the value of patience, as the 48 year old Belgian is now in his fourth year in the West African country.

He has already overhauled the football structure in the country and when he came in he focused on youngsters who are now the core of the team and are ready to busk in glory.

Sierra Leone is another team that is doing well against the big boys in their first AFCON appearance since 1996.

Drawn in Group F alongside star-studded Ivory Coast, reigning champions Algeria and fellow minnows Equatorial Guinea, the Leone Stars have played the two giants and are still to lose.

They famously held Algeria to a nil-all draw in their first match before forcing a two-all draw against The Elephants of Ivory Coast.

Next up is an encounter against equally impressive minnows Equatorial Guinea who handed Algeria their first defeat in 35 matches.

Could it be a coincidence or there is value in patience that the Leon Stars have had the same technical department for the past four years?

One wise man once said patience is a virtue.

The post Minnows shine at AFCON as Gambia show Warriors the way appeared first on ZBC NEWS.

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