22 February 2012

Gambia: CAF Champions League - Brikama Whipped in First-Leg

Brikama United were reduced to tears after their close to five months preparation came to nothing in an agonizing first-leg defeat to US Ouakam at the Brikama Box Bar stadium.

With entrance ticket priced at fifty dalasi and above, the Gambian side weren't short of support, as an influx of fans streamed in, but it was the community-owned club which failed to compliment club faithfuls, as coach Ensa Sambou's inexperienced men suffered a 1-0 whipping, thus denting a severe blow to the WCR outfit's Caf Champions League first round chances -albeit a first-leg meeting.

Brikama made the first move on-goal before a turn out buzzing spectators in an action flurry packed game. 40 seconds into the first-half Musa Bojang followed up a promising effort in the box after a swing cross down the right. US Ouakam's goalkeeper Pape Laiye Ndiaye wasn't caught off guard an almost effortlessly got a grip of the speeding ball.

The Senegal club only replied after 14th minutes when Ngallah Sillah overlapped to meet a pass from a team-mate and powered wide. He again curled in a fine cross but couldn't pick any one in the Brikama penalty box as Ouakam slowly but steadily settles in the 23rd minute.

Five minutes on, the host's Ousman Bojang was flagged offside as Brikama responded on counter-attacks with visitors US Ouakam partly dominating. Foday Trawally - a key to Brikama title lifting in 2011 - was tightly marshaled by the opponent's defence and so the talisman had a quiet first-half.

Senegal Ligue One defending champions should have poked their noses in front to punish Brikama for sloppy defending. Pape Sainey Toure's shot from a scramble caught the outstretched right leg of Brikama's goalkeeper Ebrima Bojang following a fine foot work two minutes from break.

Pape Modou Ndiaye nearly silenced a tumultuously cheering Scorpion fans present when his free-kick controversially ricocheted at the top angle of the crossbar but the Liberian referee was not interested and waived play on in the 48th minute. The rebound heaped more pressure on the Gambian 2011 champions as the defense struggled to clear to safety. Brikama's midfield remained unchanged in the second-half lacking the ability to win possession against Senegal's Ouakam tall play-makers Sekou Omar Diallo and Baboucar Fye. As a result, the WRC's captain Saidou Jammeh rarely made impression in winning balls and his attacking midfield partner Modou Lamin Saho occasionally made accurate passes. Striker Foday Trawally had only a side netting - his lone dangerous move of the cold evening - and spaced up for a shot that hit the side net following a good combination in the 57th minute.

Exactly 60 minute, the Senegal club opened the score capitalizing on poor defending. The Brikama goalie poorly parried a shot and Ngange Diallo who was unmarked, quickly slide home. The home side effected a couple substitutions: retiring Modou Lamin Sawo for Ebou Kanteh and Modou Jallow for Nabi Darboe but chances didn't pay off and new entrant Nabi- a former Gamtel player had himself cautioned minute later. Brikama now return visit in a fortnight time.

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