Gambian U-17 Wins Pepsi Cup

The 7th Pepsi U-17 International Tournament was won by the current African Champions and FIFA U-17 World Cup bound Gambian national team.

The week-long event was held at two venues: MKO Abiola Stadium and the Abeokuta Grammar School sports complex.
In addition to the Gambian national team, foreign participants included Liberty Professionals [Ghana], FC Johansen [Sierra-Leone] and Dimension Foot Academy [Republic of Benin].
The teams from Nigeria were the Gateway and the Lagos State U-17’s along with 2 teams comprising Pepsi Football Academy students.

Apart from lifting the trophy by beating the highly fancied Liberty Professionals by 1-0, the Gambian team also won the best attacking and the best defensive team awards while the captain of the side, Sachou Gassama was voted one of the best players.
Lagos State U-17’s took the bronze following their victory over the Gateway U-17’s in a penalty shootout.

This year’s Pepsi Tournament, held in late August and ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Nigeria was hoped to provide the Nigeria Football Federation [NFF] with further potential talents following the recent MRI scan results concerning the Golden Eaglets squad.

Assistant Secretary General (Technical) of the NFF, Coach James Peters who was in Abeokuta throughout the competition did indeed pencil down nine players for injection into the Golden Eaglets squad.
Peters said the “NFF is determined to give Nigerians a team they can be proud of, without cheating.”

Pepsi Football Academy celebrate. On the far left, the captain, Eris Okoeguale who is on scholarship in the UK

August 2009