In Zico and Ous Jallow’s absence can new-look Scorpions attack deliver?


By Sulayman Bah Ousman Jallow and Momodou Ceesay were the notably absentees in anew-look Scorpions provisional roster of 21 invited foreign-based Gambian stars revealed last week Thursday. Jallow is unfit after picking a hamstring injury and isn’t expected to recuperate fully till next month while Zico is on the path of raking up minutes having spent close to a month also sidelined.Together they have lit up fans hopes, become senior team mainstays and struck up a fearsome partnership- a link that gelled from their days at Wallidan to U-17 internationals. The thought of the duo not playing a part against South Africa –one of Group M’s heavyweights –sends pulse racing and worry fans. Making their loss less severe, a batch of new faces –largely uncapped players – have been summoned as potential replacements. But questions whether these untested stars can live up to the billing continue to linger, understandably, due to sketchy available details about their scoring pedigrees. Foroyaa Sport gives a lowdown into their goal stats. Macoumba Kandji: After a series of attempts without success to have him switch his allegiance to Gambia, the possibility of Kandji finally sporting the Scorpion jersey is looking more a reality this year than ever. Born to a Gambian mother and a Senegalese father, Macoumba will be one of the new faces to be relied on to fill voids created by Ous and Zico’s absence. Comfortable either as a main striker or a secondary one, the 28-year-old is a tall order. His trade mark showboating and explosive speed were invaluable in winning HJK the Finnish league title and qualifying the capital club to the Europa League for the first time. He will be counted on to bring to the fore such an amour and spark it where it’s most needed – against South Africa. In his eighth season as a professional footballer, the erstwhile Manchester City transfer target has scored 24 goals in 164 cameos for seven different clubs from the U.S, Greece, Finland and now Saudi Arabia. Experience remains a gargantuan plus to lead Gambia’s front line and Kandji isn’t lacking any of that. Measuring 1.93cm in height, there’s expected to be no missing of Zico in Macoumba Kandji. Pa Amat Dibba: With Mustapha Carayol, Demba Savage, Modou Barrow and the addition of Pa Amat Dibba, explosive runs won’t be for sure in short supply. Dibba is one of the most covered foreign-based and is a joy to watch. His goals propelled Sundsvall to the Swedish Premier League amassing 12 goals as the fourth highest scorer of the second tier the previous term. With a combined 23 goals since joining Sundsvall in 2011 out of 93 appearances, Dibba’s eye for goal is showing no sign of tailing off. His call-up to the squad ranks will only do good to Gambia’s push qualification to Gabon. Saihou Jagne: Pace remains a weapon even at 28. The ex-AIK Solna man boasts of four club medals in his trophy cabinet and is shifting to international football only now. He’s the only called up striker playing fifth division football in Sweden. Netting a career eighteen goals, Jagne still considers himself a potent and accepting turning international with Gambia is evidence of his never-dwindling self-belief. A master in his own right for scoring with tap-ins or at his best, ballooning from long distances, Turkish top tier side Gaziantepspor did not make a €200,000 offer for his services in 2009 without a reason. Assan Ceesay: He would be making his third appearance for the national team after debuting for the local-based in Monrovia and more recently against Tanzania in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. With a number of Caf Confederation Cup and Wafu Cup appearances under his belt, the lanky 22-year-old, tied to Senegalese club Casa Sport on loan, can be a danger-man on his day. Physic might be his weakness but Ceesay can pull off surprises and knows the goal-post well. Omar Jagne: A fast improving striker, Omar is turning a revered player to Dalkurd fans. Playing in the Swedish third division and sibling to Njogu Demba, he’s one of the new faces gracing the internationals but must his way to gaffer Raoul Savoy’s thinking to be considered a starting spot. He scored seven goals last year his biggest goal tally for Dalkurd since switching from fourth division outfit Falu. With all these names at Gambia’s disposal, new coach Savoy will be spoiled for choice.]]>