Sierra Leone caretaker coach Sellas Tetteh remained confident ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Falcons of Sudan on Saturday, saying that his side is capable of defeating their visitors and further reinforce their hold in the group.
Sierra Leone is perched at the bottom of Group I with a single point, that make this tie a must win game against Sudan, one of the three teams that participated in the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations in 1957.
Sierra Leone slumped to a 1-0 defeat in the qualifiers opening match in Khartoum back in June 2015.
The Ghanaian tactician, however, acknowledges that with two matches left to go in the 2017 Gabon qualifying campaign, the Falcons of Sudan are ready to shut down Leone Stars chances.
He passionately told footballsierraleone.net at the team’s camp at Hill Valley hotel: “We cannot move backwards but forward. We are going to pull ourselves together and work towards winning on Saturday. This match is vital to our qualification campaign.
“A game can end up in a draw or loss even when you perform well. However, we are going to make use of our opportunities as a way to shattered the hopes of the Sudanese, if we can do that then we will try our best to win in Cote d Ivoire because in football everything is possible.
Leone Stars Skipper Umaru Bangura concurred, “We are here to get the maximum points against them to enhance our chances in this campaign. I have assessed and spoken with most of my colleagues in the squad and I must confess that they are very much determined to succeed. That’s why I’m very positive even though it’s going to be difficult,”
“We still have a good squad. There are good times and bad times in football, and when things are bad, you need to lift up your heads, carry on working and start afresh,” the Dynamo Minsk defender told www.footballsierraleone.net.
“We are at the bottom of our group. We have some pressure, but I think that the team has enough experience players to handle the two games,” the 28-year-old added.
On the Match in Khartoum
“I and my technical team have corrected the lapses we noticed in the first leg in Sudan, we know is going to a difficult test, having said that this Saturday’s game is a must win game.
“The players did well but I don’t know what went wrong in the last fifteen minutes when we conceded that late penalty goal. That is football.
He maintained that his players were tactically minded and even better than the Sudanese.
Leone Stars Full Squad below:
Keepers: Solomon Zombo Morris (France), Ibrahim Bangura (Central Parade), Idrissa Koroma (East End Lions),
Defenders: David Simbo (Belarus), Umaru ‘Zaingalay’ Bangura (Belarus), Mohamed L. Bangura (Ports Authority FC), Yeami Dunya (FC Johansen), Abu Kanu (Mighty Blackpool), Alie Sesay (England), Kemson Fofanah (East End Lions)
Midfielders: Mohamed ‘Medo’ Kamara (Finland), Hassan ‘Milla’ Sesay (Finland), Alfred ‘Zagalo’ Sankoh (Turkey), John Bankole Kamara (Latvia), Julius Gibrilla Woobay (Slovenia), Kwame Quee (FC Johansen), Ibrahim Sorie Barrie (FC Johansen)
Strikers: Mustapha ‘Hadji’ Bangura (Serbia), Ibrahim Teteh Bangura (Sweden), Alhassan ‘Crespo’ Kamara (Sweden), Abdul Sesay (Finland), George ‘Kweku’ Davies (Germany) Sheka Fofanah (FCFC), Donald Wellington (East End Lions)