>From William Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent, Bnajul, Gambia
Banjul, May 8, GNA - The Gambians, first victory over Burkina Faso, in the Sixth Africa Under-17, Tournament, was met with strong emotions, as a 69th minute lone goal, which eventually became the match winner saw over 20 soccer fans collapsing.
Out of the over 20 near casualties recorded, five of them, one male, lost consciousness and had to be revived by the medical team, Dr Abubakar Jah disclosed this to GNA Sports.
He said the rest were just weak and could not do anything and had their situation worsened by the outcome of the match. Dr. Jah, told GNA Sports that, the incidents were due to lack of glucose in the body of the affected fans, since most of them had not eaten the whole day. Most of the fans started trooping to the stadium as early as 0700 hrs.
The Gambians, who are hosting their maiden major soccer event, could not wait but to see their young side making a big impact in the tournament and this came to reality after the 90 minutes of action. Though, the victory came with casualties, it was a sweet package from the junior Scorpions at the Independence Stadium. With a partisan crowd led by the President Yahaya Jammeh, behind them, the home team had no option than to deliver to justify the trust and support, as well as investments put into preparations for the tournament.
This, however did not come on a silver platter as the Burkinabes proved to be better side than the home team, with a sound tactical play but could not translate it into goals, as they seemed intimidated by the vociferous crowd at the 25, 000 packed to capacity stadium. The Gambians, not so tactically endowed, managed to battle their opponents to a scoreless draw game in the first half with much determination and the unflinching support of the partisan home crowd.
Coach Osam Doudou's side resumed the second half, a more aggressive side as the Burkinabes, seemed to have been completed shattered by the presence of the huge crowd and allowed the Gambians to dominate most part of the second half.
In spite of this, the home team had to wait till the 69th minute of the game, before finding the net. This was made possible by the effectiveness of twin brothers, Sainey Nyassi and Sanna Nyassi.
Sanna, who came on, as substitute in the 63rd minute became the super substitute when he connected a perfect cross from his brother whose previous efforts have been wasted by other attackers. The goal was met with thunderous jubilations in all the stands. with emotions and passions.
The Burkinabe team, were unable to equalise, despite the substitutions made to the team as Tunisian referee Kacem Bennaceur had to bring proceedings to an end after tw0 minutes of added time. 08 May 05