Gambian skipper anticipates victory over Nigeria

John Mendy
As Gambia is set to square off against the Super Falcons of Nigeria, the Scorpions captain Penda Bah has said that nothing short of victory would be their pride on the night.
Gambia will host Nigeria on Wednesday at the independence stadium in bakau for the opening leg of the final phase qualifier for the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana.
The Queen Scorpions’ captain Penda Bah spoke exclusively to Ladiesmarch. Below is her conversation with our reporter ahead of Wednesday’s showdown.
LM: Gambia recorded their first ever win in the AWCON qualifier, what was the feeling like for you guys back then in April?
Penda Bah: The feeling was overwhelming. It was an unexpected performance from us, considering that we are coming in for the first time. On the contrary, it was a promise made to Gambians and with the help of ALLAH – the Almighty, we did not disappoint. It was just a feeling of joy all around us.
LM: What did you think helped you guys overcome Burkina Faso in the first round?
Penda Bah: What helped us overcome Burkina Faso was all down to the desire to succeed despite our defeat in Ouagadougou in the first leg. We have this special belief in ourselves that is always nurtured by the football authorities. An inexplicable determination kept us going because we are all pursuing one ultimate dream. The zeal instilled in us was also another contributing factor.
LM: What hope does your win over Burkina Faso give you and your mates going against Nigeria and how much do you know of the champions?
Penda Bah: The same desire and determination to go beyond expectations. We understand the fact that they are Africa’s most successful team and more so defending champions which we are going to treasure and respect but it is not something to sway us away from focusing on our quest to make it for the first time.

What makes it interesting is the fact that we are all locally based players. We know what winning against Nigeria will write for us and we are focused on that.

Actually we have little or no knowledge about Nigeria aside from the fact that they are eight times continental champions and that ten foreign professionals are on ground for this clash on Wednesday. So we’ll give it our best shot.
LM: As you get set to face champions Nigeria, are you guys under any pressure, especially playing against the best player in Africa, Asisat Oshoala?
Penda Bah: To be frank, this is an opportunity we have longed for; hence we are not under pressure to play against Asisat Oshoala and Nigeria especially. Asisat is young like us though she’s far more experienced than we are. Most of us in the Gambian team look up to her too as Africa’s best twice in a row at her age.

However, we have a special desire in us to do well. If you say home expectations, yes we are under pressure to deliver because a lot of our people have already ruled us out playing Nigeria and that to us is an insult. This is why we want to prove everybody wrong.
LM: What will qualifying for the AWCON for the first time at the expense of Nigeria mean to the team?
Penda Bah: Well, as always the feeling of winning is like being on top of the world and should Allah bless us in qualifying at the expense of Nigeria it will be great for us as it will determine the future of our career.

We are courageous about it because we are underrated which we know very well. But we want to be heroines of our beloved nation and we are going to give it our all for it.
LM: Penda, thank you so much for the time given.
Penda Bah: You’re welcome.


Photo Credit: FIFA

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