The Gambia earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Guinea to confirm their place in the semi-final of the WAFU ‘A’ Women’s Championship in Sal, Cape Verde on Wednesday.
With three points apiece, both teams went into the tie keeping in mind that a win will seal a semi-final spot, it was the Scorpions who eventually scaled through at Estadio Marcelo Leitao.
After a barren first half, the Gambians came out stronger and eventually overpowered their rivals in the 75th minute when her scoring sensation Catherine Jatta netted the matchwinner.
While the result ended the campaign of Guinea, the Gambia advanced to set up a semi-final date with hosts Cape Verde.
The other fixture saw Senegal maintain the perfect start to their title defence as they secured a 4-0 victory over Sierra Leone.
The Leone Stars brave all odds to force the defending champions to a barren first half but Nguenar Ndiaye broke the resilience a minute to hand the Senegalese the lead after the restart of the contest.
The Terranga Lionesses were kept at bay for a short time by Sierra Leone but they eventually doubled the advantage through Ndiaye’s second of the match in the 76th minute.
Three minutes later, the ruthless Cup holders got the third courtesy of Malado Diallo’s brilliant finish before Jeanne Coumba Niang struck deep in additional time to seal the victory.
The victory made it three wins out of three games for the Senegalese as they finished top of Group B with nine points and were rewarded with a semi-final duel against Guinea Bissau.
Senegal’s Nguenar Ndiaye was named Woman of the Match following her fantastic brace in the victory over the Leone Stars.
Meanwhile, Senegal’s Habsatou Diallo got on the scoresheet to become tie with Ivânia Moreira of Cape Verde on seven goals at the top of the scorers’ chart, followed by the Gambia’s Catherine Jatta with six.
Sekou Tidiane Kaba, Guinea’s head coach: “I am very proud of my team for the efforts although I am unhappy with how the game went and the tournament ended for us.”
Senegal’s Nguenar Ndiaye, Woman of the Match: “I am very happy to win the Woman of the Match. I feel so very emotional. I will also love to dedicate this award to my mother.”
Mame Moussa Cisse, Senegal’s head coach: “I am very happy with the results so far. Our objectives have been achieved. We’ve played three games and won all of them. About us being the favourites, I agree that we are one of the favourites but we will not assume victory before we play our games. We will focus on one game at a time and we hope to win our semi-final game on Friday. We may be the favourites, but we must prove it on the pitch.”
Gambia’s Catherine Jatta, Woman of the Match: “I am very happy to win the Woman of the Match. I must thank my coaches and teammates for making it possible. For our next game, I believe we are going to do everything necessary to win.”
Mariama Sowe, the Gambia head coach: “I will like to congratulate my girls on the victory against Guinea-Bissau. From the start of the tournament, I said we are going to be taking each game as it comes. Now the Guinea Bissau game is over, we are now going to face the host Cape Verde. We know the home team will have massive home support but we will go all out to ensure we secure the three points and make sure we play in the final.”