Afcon2021: Former Flames coach Saintfiet helps Gambia win


Debutants Gambia under former Flames coach Tom Santfiet beat Mauritania 1-0 on Wednesday in an Africa Cup of Nations Group F match in Limbe overshadowed by the bizarre finish to an earlier game that Mali won by the same score against Tunisia.

A Gambian throw-in on 10 minutes began a move that finished with Ablie Jallow slamming a rising shot over goalkeeper Diop Babacar, who had strayed slightly off his line.

"I battled to hold back the tears at the final whistle," said Gambian Musa Barrow, who was voted man of the match.

"Gambians are the proudest people in Africa tonight. We came to Cameroon as rank outsiders partly because we are the lowest ranked team here.

"Qualifying for the first time was special and now we have won our first match. Our goal is to go beyond the group stage.

Now with The Gambia: Santfiet
Now with The Gambia: Saintfiet

"My dream is to play in the Premier League," added the forward who plays for Italian Serie A outfit Bologna.

Coached by the widely travelled Belgian Saintfiet, Gambia are competing in the flagship African tournament after 16 failed attempts to qualify.

Saintfeit briefly coached the Flames in 2013 before quitting in the aftermath of their 2-0 loss to Nigeria.

He stated at the time that he had no long term plan stay at the helm of the Flames' technical crew, as he was only appointed on an interim basis with the sole purpose of beating Nigeria.

"I never was here to win many games, I was here to win just one game against Nigeria and that was the only goal," he disclosed.

He then went to coach