Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Gambia vs Cameroon Preview

Gambia vs Cameroon Preview

Vincent Aboubakar

The underdog story like that of Greece in the European Championship of 2004, Gambia have won the hearts and support of so many football fans around the world. The results are forthcoming and their football is a pleasure to watch. But they face the 2017 AFCON champions who now seek glory on home soil. Cameroon are one of the giants of African football consistently proving their name time in and time out, and who can deny them in their own land?

Will the Gambians rejoice in overcoming the odds or will the host nation make their voice heard?

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Africa Cup of Nations: Quarter-final
Saturday 29 January
Douala Stadium
18:00

To Win
Gambia 58/10
Draw 26/10
Cameroon 5/10

Gambia

A perfect start to Gambia’s life amongst Africa’s elite has not gone unnoticed. There have been three nations to win the AFCON as debutants (Egypt 1957, Ghana 1963, South Africa 1996) and with Comoros getting knocked out by their current opponents, the Scorpions’ plot thickens. Three years working together, creating chemistry and a good team spirit is showing on the field.

The lowest ranked nation coming into the tournament has shown that their sting will be felt by every country represented.

The work that has been done by the backroom staff for Gambia has shown on the field in every fixture this campaign. The Belgian head coach, Tom Saintfiet has made a name for himself on the African continent, coaching Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Free State Stars and Young Africans to name a few. But his reign at Gambia since joining in 2018 is panning out to be something of beauty. Facing Cameroon will be the biggest challenge to date, and it will be faced head on, as they have shown in every other fixture.

Despite many challenges off the field, Saintfielt made it known he is proud of his team’s accomplishments stating, “Above all, I must admit that I am proud of the efforts of my players, my staff, and the Federation during the group stage… My players gave their best and helped qualify for the second round of the AFCON.”

A 1-0 victory over Mauritania kicked off the tournament for the Scorpions, and just like any team striving for success, a little bit of luck went in their favour when they drew 1-1 with Mali when Musa Barrow netted in the 90th minute. Yes, they didn’t dominate when they faced Tunisia, but they showed composure and cohesion to overcome their toughest fixture of the group stage to score a stoppage-time winner from substitute Ablie Jallow.
Gambia’s Saintfielt said going into their match up with Guinea they will be treating the fixture as a final.

The Scorpions’ were always looking for a set piece in the opposition half to try and capitalise on, and they came close on a few occasions. Their direct style of play, coupled with the comfortability in playing out from the back stretches’ opposition at times, and in the 71st minute, a well-worked goal saw 23-year-old Bologna Musa Barrow net his second and most crucial goal to see Gambia progress through to the quarter-finals.

The Scorpions have had a fully fit squad for most of the tournament, bar one or two each fixture as opposed to many other nations. However, a red card for Yusupha Nije last time out in his first appearance of the tournament will now see the winger miss a chance to play the quarter-finals.

A key player to watch for Gambia is without question the Serie A tried and tested Barrow. With two goals and two assist, the forward has been pivotal in Gambia’s success being instrumental in four out of their four goals.

Like the fixtures before, Gambia’s hopes of success are backed by their team spirit and cohesion, and although knocking Cameroon out of the AFCON in their backyard is a feat fit for champions, they know who they are and work from a place of understanding their strengths and weaknesses.

Cameroon

If you wanted a host nation to give their fans the joy and excitement every fan wishes to experience, Cameroon are doing just that. The Indomitable Lions are absolutely roaring in every fixture, flexing their strength and passion in every challenge, leaving everything on the field of play.

As host nation, Cameroon were propped as seventh favourite to lift the trophy before a ball was kicked. They have since proven themselves worthy of that number one spot, where they currently reside entering the fixture with Gambia.

The host nation have been in fine form, even in their final group stage fixture which didn’t really go their way. The Indomitable Lions kicked off the tournament with a hard-fought win over Burkina Faso, followed by a real statement over Ethiopia, and finally ran out of a bit of steam when they drew 1-1 with Cape Verde where you could argue they took their foot off the gas.

Cameroon were handed a gift when Comoros captain received a deserved red card as early as the seventh minute. With heaps of possession and a fair amount of sustained pressure, the Lions eventually broke the dead lock in the 29th minute.

Despite the opposition (Comoros) not having a recognized goalkeeper, Cameroon were held to a one-goal lead through fine unorthodox saves. Finally, after numerous attempts, a disallowed goal, and great play to break down Comoros, who else but Vincent Aboubakar scored his sixth goal of the campaign, three short of tying Ndaye Mulamba of Zaire’s record set in 1974. A 2-1 victory saw Cameroon make it to the quarter-finals for the first time since their winning campaign in 2017.

Cameroon have been blessed or lucky to avoid any Covid-19 complications in their camp, having a virtually unchanged squad throughout. Andre Onana has been a staple between the sticks, with Collins Fai and Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui down the flanks from full back positions and Harold Moukoudi the only centre-back featuring in every fixture to make up the backline.

In the middle of the park, Andre Zambo Anguissa, Karl Toko Ekambi and Nicolas Moumie Ngamaleu have started every fixture for the Indomitable Lions to date. The strike force of the host nation has always been a force to reckon with, and Aboubakar is now chasing and breaking records, which will definitely see him start upfront yet again.

With unfortunate circumstances outside the stadium, costing the lives of a few fans, the mood from Cameroon will be more thoughtful and that much more filled with passion to succeed and dedicate the victory.

Prediction: Cameroon Win (5/10)

The campaign has started to heat up and passion and desire has reached new heights. Cameroon remain the free-scoring team they have proven to be this campaign, and Gambia continue to impress as the underdogs embracing their title. The hosts seem to be vulnerable to goals, conceding in each fixture, and the Scorpions have found a goal in each of their four fixtures. Both teams are bound to score. The frontline of Cameroon press high and the backline of Gambia love to play out from the back (they do it well) and were almost caught out being to casual on more than one occasion. Cameroon have an attack-first approach, and this will be an open and heated affair, and I believe Cameroon come out on top here.

Written by Joshua Gaillard