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Africa Cup of Nations

Gambia were beaten by great Cameroon, future Afcon champions – Saintfiet

14:59 SAST 2022/01/30
Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.
The Belgian tactician praises the Indomitable Lions after they ended the Scorpions’ fairytale in Cameroon

The Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet has labelled Cameroon as future champions after they eliminated them from the Africa Cup of Nations at the quarter-final stage on Saturday.

The Indomitable Lions reached the last four on home soil after they secured a 2-0 win against the Scorpions at Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon.

After a goalless first half, Cameroon, who have won the Afcon five times, returned a more rejuvenated side and it was Karl Toko Ekambi, who grabbed a brace, scoring in the 50th and 57th minutes to silence the Gambia, who were making their first appearance at the competition.

“I am proud of my players, in the tournament but also in this match where we lost (0-2) against a great team from Cameroon, we were beaten by the future champions of Africa,” Saintfiet told reporters as quoted by CafOnline.

“We made mistakes that we paid for in cash, that's also the high level. There were tears in the locker room but the Gambia and its players can be proud of the course, we will bounce back very quickly and return to the front of the stage.”

Meanwhile, Cameroon coach Toni Conceicao says he was satisfied with how his players followed instructions to finally beat the stubborn side.

“I am satisfied with my players who respected the instructions to go and win the match despite the missed opportunities in the first period. In addition to the victory, it was our match where the attack-defence balance was the most respected,” said Conceicao.

“I am very happy with our production against a great team from the Gambia.

“Regarding the semi-finals, what worries me the most is to see my players recover; it was a physically demanding match. We will rest and analyze our next opponent and put the strategy in place. I'm really happy with my players.”

The Gambia enjoyed a good tournament as they won two matches in the group stage – 1-0 against Mauritania and 1-0 against Tunisia before they drew 1-1 against Mali.