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Cameroon winger Salli, who had brought trouble to the Gambian defence, saw his efforts rewarded from a stunning free kick just a minute before half time.
The Gambia U20 and their Cameroon opponents went head to head in the opening game of Group B in the African Youth Championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in South Africa.
The Gambia U20, the Darling Scorpions enjoyed lion share of ball possession throughout the first period, creating a few chances in the process, however, Salli’s power strike in injury time before the first half was enough to cost the Gambia all three points.
The Gambian Goalkeeper, Musa Camara managed to have a slight touch on the ball, but his effort could not stop the central Africans from taking the lead.
It was Cameroon all over the Gambians for much of the second period of the game, though Saikou Gassama, Alassana Camara has had their chances not well utilized.
The Gambia came back to life in the final 10 minutes of the game, but saw their powerful shots either been dealt with by the Cameroon goalkeeper or going off target.
Besides the goal he conceded, Musa Camara made wonderful saves from shots fired by Cameroon industrious winger, Salli.
Earlier on, Nigeria defeated Ghana 2-1 in the first game of the group widely regarded as the group of death. For now the Gambia has an uphill task to ensure victory over power houses Ghana and Nigeria in their last two group games.
The AYC kicked off in South Africa on April 17, 2011 with the host loosing 2-4 to Mali, while Egypt wining Lesotho by 2-0 in the other Group A game.
South Africa failed to qualify for the tournament but made it to the finals only after the proposed host, Libya was engulfed by political unrest, and CAF were left with no choice but to move the competition to South Africa.
The Gambian side’s preparedness to challenge for the title or for a World Cup place is questionable after the coach Lamin Sarr’s repeated calls for a training camp and international friendlies were not paid heed to.
The FA has always maintained that finance has been its major constraint, regardless of the Gambia Government taking over the national football teams. The financial shortfall to fund Gambian teams needs much to be desired, in fact, it led to the withdrawal of the U23 from the 2012 Olympic qualifiers.