Having suffered another heart-breaking defeat, this time to the Taifa Stars of Tanzania in the second game of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign at the weekend, the Scorpions of The Gambia have now gone five matches without a win.
The Scorpions came at the back of a demoralising 1-1 draw with the Atlas Lions of Morocco in the opening game at Banjul's Independence Stadium the other weekend and despite assurances from several players and technicians of a win against the East African side,the team put up one of the worst performances in recent times, losing to lowly Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.
The last time the Scorpions won an international football match was way back in the 10th August 2011 at the Independence Stadium in Banjul with a 3-0 hammering of the Democratic Republic of Congo under former coach Paul Put.
The Belgian Paul Put, who was in charge when the Scorpions played DRC has since been sacked after his failure to qualify the team after two attempts. He was briefly replaced by Peter Bonu Johnson who has since been relegated toassistant coach role, as the Italian Luciano Mancini, on a technical mission from the European country took charge for the last two games.
Within that period, the Scorpions were beaten 1-0 by lowly Namibia in the penultimate round of the 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Windhoek before the team wrapped-up their campaign with a 1-1 draw with the Stallions of Burkina Faso having succumbed to a stoppage time Moumini Dagano equaliser in Banjul. That was Paul Put's last game as coach of the Gambia national team.
The team have developed an unwelcome attitude of succumbing to late goals both home and away and the same eyebrows were raised by both fans and commentators in the 1-1 draw with the Atlas Lions after that ill fated 2-1 defeat to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in February of this year.
In what proved to be the post-Paul Put era and first game under new coach Peter Bonu Johnson, the Scorpions were short of ideas all evening as they again surrendered a Momodou Ceesay 26th minute opener before succumbing to Antar Yahia and Soufianne Feghouli winner with the two goals coming within three minutes.
That defeat to the Desert Foxes was followed by the sacking of the Seedy Kinteh-led Executive Committee of the Gambia Football Association with the honourable minister of Youth and Sports announcing at the time that the country was making no headway in international football.
Hopes were renewed especially after a brilliant performance against a star-studded Moroccan side but the latest setback against the Taifa Stars has brought us back to the same famous assertion by the minister that our football is still making no headway.
Now that two games have failed to yield a win for the Scorpions, the best way to bounce back is certainly not a double header against the Elephants of Ivory Coast, the country's next opponents in Group C. Gambia plays away to Ivory Coast on the 23rd of March next year before the return leg in Banjul three months later on June 6th.
The team must regroup for Friday's all important return leg in the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Algerians in Blida, with the Scorpions trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Banjul. The players must do what they failed to do in two previous visits by winning and secure a place in the last round of qualifiers for South Africa in order to give the fans something to cheer about.