Sierra Leone Shootings Stars will be facing their Guinea Bissau counterpart in the hunt for a place in the next stage on the road to Niger 2019.
Sierra Leone Cameroonian technician, Ken Tabi has expressed optimism of overturning a 1-0 deficit loss to Guinea Bissau two weeks ago at the Estadio Nacional 24 de Setembro in the capital city of Bissau.
The two sides go head to head again in the return leg of the 21st edition Total U20 Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifiers on Saturday 21st April at the Bo Coronation Ground, South of Sierra Leone.
The technician noted, it is possible for his team to overturn the 1-0 deficit because as he puts it “They now know the Bissau Guineans better than before”.
“I am optimistic because, before we did not know our opponents, we did not know their strength but now we know their strength and weaknesses and even how they play.
“We train twice a day-morning and evening to keep the boys fit and prepare to do our final assessments before choosing the appropriate squad for the match”, Tabi said.
“We must understand that our players do not have the required fitness for a match considering the long absence of national leagues across the country but we are working on that ahead of the tie this weekend”, Coach Ken added.
He pointed out that they have the full support of the SLFA administration for the match. The U-20 Head Coach said they lost the first leg in Guinea Bissau due to a technical mistake by the goalkeeper, after giving a pass to the opponent striker to score in an open goal.
Ken Tabi called on Sierra Leoneans to give their unflinching support to the team as they continue preparation for Saturday’s encounter. He assured the nation of qualifying the team to the next stage of the competition.
Sierra Leone U20 side has lost five of their last six international fixtures since April 2014 including their recent defeat to the Young Djurtinhos on 1st April 2018.
The winner between the two countries will face Nigeria’s Flying Eagles of Nigeria.
The Flying Eagles will then play away to the overall winners of this first round clash on May 11, 12 or 13 with the return leg in Nigeria a week later.
Match Referees: Afful Isaka Ayensu – 1st assistant: Ibrahim Adams Badiu – 2nd assistant: Paul Kodzo Atimaka
Stadium: Bo Stadium, Bo City Date: 21/04/2018 – 16:30
By Ishmail Saidu Kanu in Freetown – Follow Us On Twitter @football_sierra