By Landing Ceesay
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will kick off on January 9th 2022 in Cameroon. And The Scorpions of The Gambia will participate for the first time in the country’s history.
As the scorpions gear-up for their maiden AFCON match against Mauritania on 12thJanuary 2022, Kerr Fatou brings you three (3) stars of the Mauritanian squad who could create problems for the Scorpions in their group opener.
Mauritania made their AFCON debut in Egypt 2019, although they crashed out of the group stage as they finished at the base of Group of E with just two points.
The West Africans are making their second appearance at the continental showpiece, and they will square up against Tunisia, Mali and Gambia in Group F; commencing their campaign against the Scorpions on January 12 at the Limbe Stadium.
The first potential threat for the Scorpions from the Mauritanian team is Aboubakar Kamara born 7 March 1995. Kamara is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for the Super League Greece club Aris Thessaloniki. Born in France, he represents Mauritania internationally.
Kamara made his Ligue 1 debut for Monaco on 12 September 2014 against Olympique Lyonnais in a 2–1 away defeat. He replaced Yannick Carrasco after 84 minutes. In July 2015, Kamara signed a three-year contract with Belgian Pro League side K.V. Kortrijk, but returned to France only six months later, joining Championnat National side Amiens and helping the club to achieve back-to-back promotions to Ligue 1. He scored the first goal of a dramatic 2–1 win against Stade de Reims on the last match day, with Amiens clinching a promotion after retaking the lead in the 6th minute of stoppage time. Kamara ended the season as the club’s top goal scorer at the 2016–17 Ligue 2 with 10 goals.
On 31 July 2017, Kamara signed for Fulham for an undisclosed fee on a four-year contract with an option for another 12 months. He chose to wear the number 47 so that his initials and number would match AK-47. On 23 September, Kamara scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 draw against Middlesbrough, and three days later, he scored the opening goal in a 3–1 win over Nottingham Forest.
On August 16, 2021, Super League Greece team Aris confirmed signing Kamara from Fulham, for a €3.5 million transfer fee. The 26-year-old scored 17 goals in 94 appearances for the Cottagers after arriving from French side Amiens in 2017.
Kamara was part of two successful promotion campaigns, starting both of Fulham’s play-off final victories against Aston Villa and Brentford. On 22 September 2021, Kamara after an assist from Facundo Bertoglio, scored the only goal in a derby game against Panathinaikos. On 24 October 2021, Kamara scored with a penalty and provided two assists in an emphatic 5-1 home win against Panetolikos.
Aboubakar Kamara, made his debut for Mauritania on 26 March 2021 in an AFCON 2021 qualifier against Morocco. Kamara will face the Scorpions on January 12 2022.
Another player in the Mauritanian AFCON squad who could create problems for the Scorpions is Oumar Camara, born on 19 August 1992. Camara is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Championnat National side Sète. Born in France, he represents the Mauritania national team.
Camara trained as a youth with Le Havre AC, making appearances with their B team and training with the professional group. On leaving Le Havre, he joined La Vitréenne FC in the fifth tier at the start of the 2012–13 season, but after issues over pay and a groin injury, he left in November 2013 and returned to his home to train alone.
In the summer of 2013, Camara signed for fourth-level FC Chartres. In the 2014–15 season, he played with ESM Gonfreville, enjoying a “quality season”, which saw him attract the attention of US Orléans, for whom he signed in July 2015.
Camara signed his first professional contract with Orléans in the summer of 2016, before being loaned out to CA Bastia for the 2016–17 Season.
Following the club’s promotion, Camara made his debut at the professional level for Orléans in a 3–1 Ligue 2 win over AS Nancy on 28 July 2017. In January 2018, he joined Lyon Duchère on loan until the end of the season. On 21 August 2018, Greek club Panionios officially announced the signing of Camara, until the end of 2018-19 season. Released by Panionis in the summer of 2020, Camara was without a club until a successful trial with FC Sète 34 resulted in a contract.
Camara is of Mauritanian descent. He was called up to represent the Mauritania national team for a set of friendlies in June 2021. He debuted with Mauritania in a 1–0 friendly win over Liberia on 11 June 2021. Since then, Camara has established himself as one the best players for the Mauritanian side.
The third potential threat in the Mauritanian AFCON squad for the Scorpions is Pape Ibnou Ba, born on 5 January 1993. Ba is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Le Havre and switched his nationality to Mauritania.
Ba is a youth product of his local club Linguère, and was the record top scorer in a single Senegal Premier League, with 17 goals in the 2015–16 season.
On 3 January 2017, Ba signed for Lebanese Premier League side Ahed, scoring three goals in five matches. On 29 June 2020, Ba signed with Niort after a prolific stint with AthléticoMarseille in the amateur leagues of France. He made his professional debut with Niort in 1–0 Ligue 2 win over En Avant Guingamp on 22 August 2020, scoring his side’s only goal of the game.
Born in Senegal, Ba is of Mauritanian descent. He was called up to represent the Mauritania national team for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Senegalese born striker is one of the players in Mauritania squad who could create problems for the Scorpions, when the two teams square up on January 12.