Sierra Leone will square off with Ethiopia in the 2019 Group F Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday in search of their first away win since 2002.
The Leone Stars, who will face off with the Ethiopians for the first time in history are also targeting a second straight win in the qualifiers.
Kick-off is at 16h00 EAT and the game is set to take place at the Hawassa International Stadium.
“We have been here for the last four days and we’re trying to get acclimatise, Coach Keister told Ethiopian based journalist Omna Taddele.
“We are here to be competitive. I do not want to be disrespectful but we want to get something from the game on Sunday.”
“The team will be coming out very positive and hopefully we get what we deserve,” Keister said.
When asked about the Kenya win, Keister added, “I do not want to go back to the Kenya victory but focusing on the Ethiopia game. We looking forward to this game with a very strong mentality. ”
Sierra Leone last away win comes on the 08 September 2002 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea during the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations Group 7 qualifiers.
Goals from Mamadou Bah 38′ Muwahid Sesay 46′ and Sidique Mansaray gave Leone Stars a 3-1 away victory.
Since then the national team have not managed another away victory in 16 years.
According to our sources from the team’s Hawassa based, the players are in high spirit, focused and ready.
Midfielder Alfred ‘Zagalo’ Sankoh and defender David Simbo joined the teams based yesterday.
Sint Truiden striker Mohamed Buya Turay, who scored on his debut in their 1-1 draw against Lokeren in August will join the rest of the squad today.
Potential debutant for Sierra Leone Queens Park Rangers defender, Osman Kakay a few days ago confirmed he is ready and very excited about the prospect of playing for Sierra Leone.
The likes of MLS based striker Kei Kamara, SC Kuwait Midfielder Mohamed Medo Kamara, Kazakhstan-based midfield enforcer John Kamara, as well as Panetolikos new acquisition striker Alhassan Crespo Kamara are all raring to go.
Twenty of the 21 players available will continue with their preparation this evening. Sierra Leone sitting second behind Ghana in Group F.
The Ethiopians, on the other hand, are desperate to upset Sierra Leone.
Coach Abraham Mebratu is hopeful despite going into Sunday’s crucial qualifier with some notable absentees.
“I promise to give 100 percent to the Ethiopian national team. Nonetheless, a national team coach could not do the job all by himself so I need to support of all the stakeholders,” the former Yemen coach added.
Keeper Abel Mamo, playmaker Tafese Solomon and defender Addis Tesfaye are all unavailable. However, Ethiopian U-20 national side custodian Tsion Merede is a surprise inclusion.
Veteran forward Getaneh Kebede and experienced duo, Behailu Assefa and Samson Assefa are all in the squad to face Sierra Leone.
The Ethiopians are pointless after their opening 5-0 thumping in Kumasi, Ghana in June 2017 while Sierra Leone defeats Kenya 2-1 in Freetown.
Kenya host Ghana in the other Group F match also on Sunday in Nairobi.
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