Poor Gambia Football Federation almost Ruins Federation Cup won by Hawks FC
 
By Famara Badjie.  05 May, 2017
 
Hawks F.C beat cross city rivals Real De Banjul in Gambia football federation Cup final in a game which kick-off was delayed for 30 minutes, played without security and temporary stopped for 18 minutes due to power failure.
 
With such in a game no denying it is a crazy one, even though a single red card plus few yellows were issued by Africa’s best referee Bakary Papa Gassama on Friday night.
 
Yankuba Jarju put Real in front after just 11 minutes, at that moment it was a deja vu as Real thump Hawks 3 – 1 in both legs of the league campaign, but that was never the case.
 
Hawks showed a bit of resistance as the lively Matarr Badjie brought them back on level terms on the 56th minutes to ensure the game goes into penalty shoot-out which saw Hawks prevails.
 
Overall it was somewhat a good game, but poorly organised. Real who have more young and energetic players were  playing quick attacking football which seems not the Hawks way as they always try to slow the momentum when ever in possession.
 
Half chances came and went for Real’s Edi Ndow and Pa Omar Jobe who both planted shots over Adama Gassama’s goal post before Hawks talismanic Lamin Chatty struck the outside of Ebrima Jarju’s left stand post with a beautiful half-volley from distance.
 
That chance gave Real a clue about Hawks plans and ambitions, and they soon start showing their true colours to Hawks, a goal soon arrive afterwards.
 
Yankuba Jarju sneak and rolled the ball into the bottom right corner after Hawks defence failed to block Pa Omar Jobe’s pinpoint pass. Since that moment Hawks backline command by Mass Manga looked disorganize and Real continue to attack.
 
Applause were once again made for Hawks short-stopper on the 23rd minutes as he throw himself on the path of Yankuba Jarju to palm out what was going to be a certain second after another brilliant pass from Pa Omar.
 
With Hawks gradually gaining loss grounds, electricity went off on the 26minutes and referee Papa and his second assistant Omar Ceesay galloped toward the fourth official bench, perhaps out of fear.
 
The stop lasted for 18minutes as the stadium management committee struggle to put on their generators which cannot even kindle more than eight floodlight bulbs, though the match still resumes under that situation.
 
A minutes after that Lamin Chatty skipped past couple of challenges in the Real box and hit across the face of the post from a tight angle and Real were put on the alert once again.
 
In reality Real should have won by a more convincing margin before the interval but they spurned several inviting opportunities with Yankuba missing two close range chances.
 
In the closing stages of the first period Hawks striker Alfusainey Gassama was sent-off for a second bookable offense after needlessly kicking Real’s keeper Ebrima Jarju who already gathered the ball Gassama was chasing.
 
After the break Hawks continue to look vulnerable at the back as the two strong and heavy centre-backs Mass Manga and Musa Bala Danso struggle to combat the quick-feets and freewheeling Real forwards.
 
However, the sending-off  of Gassama was expected to give more advantage to Real in the second half,  ironic Hawks were the more lively side, infact they played much better with 10 men compare to when they were equal in numbers.
 
Hawks then duly got their reward on 56 minutes when their most impressive player of the night Matarr Badjie glance home a free header from close range after a fine cross from Eliyassa Sanyang following a counter attack.
 
Hawks continue to possess well for the remainder of the minutes especially when Bakary Sambou replaced Muhammed L. Kujabi, though Real center-back Mbye Faye missed a good chance in the closing stages as he acrobatic over from 6yards out after a corner.
 
The final whistle followed soon after. By right standard measures should have been taken, that is to go into extra time, but instead the organisers decided to take the game into penalties to decide the contest, understandably it was late as Gambians are not used to playing at that time of the night (12:13 a.m). The organisers will no doubt have to shoulder the blames.
 
The penalties then show heartbreak for the high spending Real De Banjul as Yankuba Jarju and Ebrima Sidibeh miss their spot kicks, while Bakary Sambou also missed for Hawks but that proved nothing as Mass Manga fired the winning penalty with too much force into the middle of the net to hand Hawks a 7 – 6 triumph.
 
Winners prize was goal medals, trophy plus hundred and fifty-thousand dalasis, while runners up receives silver medals and hundred-thousand dalasis.
 
All the administrative lapses are clear justifications that Gambia have too many incompetent people running the affairs of football in the country. “give the devil its due and you shall all leave in peace”, so long that’s not the case Gambian football will continue to head downwards.
Join The Conversation