Gambia played out a barren draw with visiting Zambia on Monday, 30 May 2016 in Bakau ahead of next month’s Gabon 2017 AFCON qualifier against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
Scorpions’ coach Sang John Ndong started with seven local-based players plus four debutants namely defenders Mass Manga and Nuha Barrow, forwards Lamin Jallow and Bulgaria-based Bakary Njie.
Zambia, 2012 African champions, / without TP Mazembe trio Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala and Chongo Kabaso who did not travel to Banjul whilst veteran forward Collins Mbesuma was rested.
It took the experimental Scorpions a quarter of an hour to create the first opportunity when Lamin Charty ran through the Zambian midfield with teammates Lamin Jallow and Bakary Njie on either side but he fired straight at goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.
Minutes later, debutant Jallow of Italian Serie ‘A’ side Chievo Verona danced his way through the Zambian backline, dribbling past Stoppila Sunzu who appeared to trip him, but the referee ignored his penalty appeal.
The visitors started the second period better with Christopher Katongo playing much deeper but the AFCON 2012 winners failed to create any opening against a solid Gambian defence marshalled by captain Bubacarr Sanneh.
Defender Manga had the best opportunity of the game ten minutes after the break. Left unmarked in the Zambian area, he headed Lamin Charty’s cross wide.
Gambia had other opportunities which Bully Drammeh, Bakary Njie and young striker Mamadi Ngum failed to score.
The Scorpions are due to face South Africa in a Group M match on Saturday, 4 June 2016 in Bakau whilst Zambia travels to BissaNairobi to face Kenya in a Group E Day Five clash on Sunday, 5 June 2016.