The Gambia senior team coach Jonathan McKinstry has lauded his players for displaying a spectacular performance against Gabon in Franceville on Tuesday night which ended in a 3-2 defeat. 

Scorpions frustrated their host team throughout the game going into the break with a goal lead thanks to the header of Yankuba Minteh in the 33rd minute.

However, coming from the break Gabonese Panthers capitalised on their chances to seal a victory.

The Tunisian-born referee came under criticism for refusing to award Gambia a penalty after a Gabonese player touched the ball with his hand in the penalty box.

In his post-match press interview, McKinstry said he was satisfied with the performance of his players, but added that they would work on some gaps to improve on their offensive and defensive techniques.

“If we scored our chances the game [would’ve] finished. It was disappointing that we couldn’t kill off the game and came off with victory.  For us, we are building a new team and new mindset and for us today, we are pleased with the performance. We just need to look into some areas offensively and defensively. But if we play like we did today in most games, we will come out with three points often,” he said.

He added: “We lost the game tonight because Gabon was clinical in key moments. That’s the reason we lost the game. Obviously in the end, the referee decided that the handball in the box is not a penalty. That’s his decision if it is worth it for handball [but] he said it’s not a penalty. I wonder if it’s a penalty other than 25,000 people screaming for it. So, this is football.”

Meanwhile the game was stopped for several minutes in the second half after a power outage. 

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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