Debutants Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet is proud of his boys for beating the odds and reaching the AFCON 2021 last 16 where they face Guinea on January 24.
Unbeaten Gambia pulled off one of the tournaments’ big kills on January 20 by beating 2004 champions Tunisia.
Abdoulie Jallow’s dramatic stoppage-time goal in the second half handed the Gambia a 1-0 victory to seal their last 16 place after finishing second in Group F tied on 7 points with leaders Mali.
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Tunisia finished third to clinch one of the four best third placed slots on 3 points.
“We are very proud that we have qualified for the second round. No one expected us to make it as 150 in the World in a strong group with Tunisia, Mauritania and Mali,” Saintfiet told AF in an interview from Limbe before his teams’ departure for Bafoussam on Friday afternoon.
“Seven points is fantastic and I am very proud of my team. Now we are there.”
The Belgian-born coach believes it is pretty even heading into Monday’s last 16 clash against neighbourhood giants Guinea.
“Guinea is a team I know and we played them in a friendly in 2019 and we won 1-0,” Saintfiet said.
“They are a good team but I think I give us 50 percent chance and 50 percent for them.
“Hopefully everyone stays fit, hopefully we will not have Covid cases and no injuries and I am sure we will be competitive for the match on Monday.
“It will not be easy but there are no easy games for us but we will be ready.”