By Edward Francis Dalliah
Two Gambian internationals became the first to score a goal in the UEFA Champions League, considered Europe’s elite club championship competition. Ebrima Colley who plays for Young Boys opened The Gambia’s account in the 53rd minute making him the first Gambian to register a goal in the Champions League. Moments after his goal, Yankuba Minteh the 19-year-old wonderkid of Feyenoord became the second Gambian to score in the tournament.
Although both players scored for their teams they couldn’t celebrate a victory as both of their teams lost on Wednesday 13th December 2023. In addition that was the last game for the group stages which meant that both teams were eliminated from the Champions League. Colley’s side lost against RB Leipzig two goals to one going out of the competition but secured a spot in the Europa knockouts, while Feyenoord lost against Celtic but also secured a place in the Europa.
Colley joined Young Boys this summer on a loan deal from the Italian side Atalanta and is expected to join the Gambia national team for the upcoming AFCON competition in Ivory Coast next month.
On the other hand, Yankuba Minteh was reported to have the most dribbles among all players in a past Champions League match when his side clashed with the Spanish giant Atlético Madrid. In the clash, he could have been the first Gambian to net a goal in the competition but failed to convert his chances.
Nevertheless, on Wednesday night, he proved his strength and ability by coming from the bench and netting a goal for his side in the 82nd minute of the game. His goal was similar to one he scored against Congo in the 79th minute while playing for the Scorpions which led to another Scorpion goal before the final whistle was blown qualifying the Gambia for the upcoming AFCON in Ivory Coast.
Minteh is a Premier League footballer who signed up with Newcastle United this summer transfer window and was subsequently loaned to Feyenoord. His excellent performances coupled with Newcastle United’s loss of key players have opened up the possibility of his return to the Premier League in January 2024.