“We are better than them”: Abdoulie Bojang

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“We are better than them”: Abdoulie Bojang

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (March 7th 2023)

No Fear

The surprise package of the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Gambia, are prepared to slay their biggest giant so far. Coach Abdoulie Bojang concedes that Nigeria are favourites on paper, but insists that his team has performed better so far and are capable, not only of beating Nigeria, but taking the trophy back to the Gambia.

“Well, I believe there is no favourites in this game, because we have the confidence that we can upset them,” Bojang told me. “As I always said, on paper they would be favourites, but inside the pitch we can upset them.

“That is the most important thing inside, during the course of the 90 minutes. That is the most important thing.

“We’ve watched them; we’ve seen them and looking at our record, looking at the statistics in this competition, I think we did better than them.

“We are better than them”; Abdoulie Bojang

“We won the best coach. We played four games; we won all the games. We scored nine goals; we didn’t concede, so looking at statistics, if not on paper, we are better than them, so with all due respect, as a footballing nation, we’ll give them the respect that they deserve, but we’ll be very much tactical during the course of the 90 minutes and I have the confidence at the end of the day, Inshallah, we’ll come as victorious.”


The Gambia qualified for this tournament through the WAFU (the West African Football Union) competition, and did so after suffering a huge setback. Star striker, Adama Bojang, badly injured his arm and had to rely on his teammates to get the chance to shine in Egypt. They did him proud.

The striker, who plays for the splendidly named Steve Biko FC, rapidly showed his class with a hat-trick in the 5-0 mauling of South Sudan – the match that earned the Gambia a slot in Indonesia’s Under-20 World Cup later this year.

Nigeria will do well not to underestimate either of the Bojangs or the Gambia. Nevertheless, Abdoulie Bojang has high ambitions. He believes that he can take the trophy back to the Gambia with him.

“Yes, we can [win the tournament] but we want to take it game by game,” Bojang said. “From the start that is what we were saying.

“We cannot be in the final without winning our group games, so we were clear we want to qualify for the quarter-final. That is our primary target.

“If we qualify to the quarter-final, then we have to look for qualifying for the semi-final. Then, we qualify for the World Cup. We’ve achieved that.

“Now, we cannot play the final without winning [against] Nigeria, so Nigeria is the most important game tomorrow. “We need to win that game and qualify to the final and see what best we can do also if we beat them there to claim the trophy and take it to the Gambia for the first time.”

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