Scorpions gaffer Saintfiet blame players for defeat

Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet has blamed his players introduced in the second period and questioned their commitment during the Scorpions’ 1-0 home defeat to Togo in the the return leg fixture of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match on Tuesday.

The Scorpions were left reeling for missed opportunities against visiting Togo who secured a victory thanks to a goal from Fulham attacker Floyd Ayité who’s shot beat net-minder Alhagie Modou Jobe to reignite the Sparrow Hawks’ hopes of reaching next year's showpiece and leaving the Scorpions to lick their wounds.

In his post-match press conference, the Scorpions’ Belgian tactician Tom Saintfiet, who cut a dejected figure after the match, questioned the commitment of some of his players without naming names but believed to be Ablie Jallow, Muhammed Badamosi and Ali Sowe, who were all introduced in the second period.

“I am very disappointed about the result but also very disappointed in the players (who came in) as not everyone who came on the pitch had the same commitment as those who started the game,” Saintfiet said in his presser.

“I can understand you may have a bad game or make mistakes but you have to die for your country. When we conceded the goal without the players who started the game, the guys who came in were more in the comfort zone waiting to score a goal, I think that’s where we made the mistake as we [didn’t] fight like we did against Algeria and in Togo.”

Gambia’s loss saw the country’s hopes of reaching the AFCON dangle by a thread after Togo moved to third on the standings with five points.