Gambia are one step away from a historic qualification for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Scorpions held Mali to a 1-1 draw in the second round of Group F. The Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet praised the performance of his players.
"I am really proud of my team. Mali is a fantastic team with a lot of individuality. Unlike other games, we created a real block and my team defended well, that was our game plan, we didn't want to have possession and we wanted to punish them in the counter-attacks... It wasn't really a penalty but the reaction of the team was good. They kept the spirit with 10 minutes to go, got up and got the equalizer from a correct penalty because it was a handball at a critical moment. It's fantastic because we have four points in two games, it's incredible for us, I think that in theory, 4 points qualify us for the next round", exclaimed the Belgian coach in a post-match press conference.
But Tom Saintfiet is cautious ahead of his final group game against Tunisia. "It is clear that we are a small football country, we have a lot of qualities and in our team we know our quality, we proved that in the last years but I don't like to be arrogant. There are other coaches who talk negatively about other teams and think they are the best in the world. For me, we know we have qualities but the other teams are also strong. When we are realistic, when we play with a lot of discipline, with the right passion and feeling for our team, we can do a lot. But to say that we can go far in this tournament is also a risk because when you speak now with big words, maybe you fall quickly. I don't want to fall, nor does my team. Let us be small and then we'll see."