By Lamin Cham
Without inspirational veteran striker Emmanuel Adebayor and lucky to have avoided a home defeat on Saturday, Togo will face the full force of a veracious Gambian attack that will split their defense and expose them to another early goal that will hopefully remain unanswered if not multiplied. That is the plot hatched against the visitors who jetted into Banjul Sunday on special flight and hot foot from the Lome encounter. Only the alphabetical order separates the two sides in terms of achievement in the current qualifiers. With Algearia a distant first, at 7 points, both Gambia and Togo are hoping to over take second place and 4 points Benin who are hosting Algeria today.
Togo missed a great home advantage, or may be even lucky to draw against Gambia, a fate Gambia must avoid today. According to coach Tom Saintfiet, the objective was to pick a point in Togo and all three in Banjul. The first part of that objective was achieved but will Saintfiet and boys deliver this afternoon? They have no choice but to win because that will put them in pole position to gun for the important second place especially if Algeria could stop Benin today. The Scorpions were off the radar of most Gambian fans with no television coverage but the result demonstrated both a hungry attack force and perhaps sloppy occasionally off-guarded defence. The 84th minute equaliser from Togo against a goal that was defended for nearly 80 minutes was terrifically heart breaking for Gambians who were about to celebrate victory. Tonight, Saintfiet’s watchword should be attack, attack and attack. Togo must be beaten and dropped to the bottom. But look, who says the Hawks have no bite? They may have a blunt beak in Lome but if their quaking after that draw is anything to go by, they are not in Banjul for a jamboree and must be respected for their great capacity to concentrate for long periods.