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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Gambians celebrate shock win
By Lamin Cham
BBC Sport, Banjul

I cannot believe this is happening - I have always waited for the day Gambia would beat Brazil
Alhaji 'Biri Biri' Momodu Njie

Thousands of Gambians poured into the streets of Banjul and surrounding towns late on Saturday night in celebration of the country's victory over Brazil at Fifa's Under-17 World Championship.

The Baby Scorpions stunned the football world by beating the tournament favourites 3-1 in Piura in the West African nation's first ever match on the global stage.

Cars thronged major roads leading from the capital to Serrekunda, the largest town in the country, tooting horns as young men and women beat drums until the small hours of Sunday morning.

Fireworks littered the sky as flocks of fans took to the streets singing the praises of the Baby Scorpions.

"I cannot believe this is happening," Alhaji Momodu Njie, Gambia's most celebrated footballer, told BBC Sport.

"I have always waited for the day Gambia would beat Brazil.

"Al-hamdulilahi, it has come in my life time," said the man popularly known as Biri Biri.

Elsewhere in the Gambia, people turned out across towns and villages in their thousands to greet the Baby Scorpions' unprecedented football triumph with long-distance walking and drumming.

In Brikama, jubilant crowds defied heavy rains as they paraded their celebrations in the streets.

"Our boys have now come of age - this team is heading for greater things," said Pa Faye, coach of local league side Pa Faye and a former coach of the Baby Scorpions.

Most of the fans expressed great joy even though they were surprised that Gambia beat Brazil, and the victory is viewed as critical for the team's confidence and chances of progressing in the competition.

"Now we can be sure of a good tournament," ventured Biri Biri, one of 200 Gambians waiting to be flown out to Peru to support the country's footballers in the remainder of the matches.




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