Sierra Leone opened their 2018 WAFU U20 tournament with a 2-1 win over Guinea Bissau at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Liberia on Tuesday evening.
Alusine Koroma, who was named Man of the Match, fired Shooting Stars of Sierra Leone ahead in the 29th min from a Bankole Cole assist.
The young Stars impressively dominated possession against the team that eliminated them from the Total U20 Africa Cup of Nations U20 qualifiers a week ago.
US-based Rodney Michael Jr made it 2-0 in the 43rd min from Thomas Kamara cross.
Sierra Leone kept on piling the pressure until Thomas Kamara shot hit the woodwork before the break.
After the Break, Guinea Bissau came out stronger putting some pressure on the Stars as they created two one on one situation but was both denied by the Sierra Leone Ghanaian based stopper Sylvanus Parkins.
Shooting Stars NBallie Kamara received a second yellow in the 48min and was sent off for an intentional handball according to the referee from Guinea.
Coach Ken Tabi was forced to make an urgent substitution by sacrificing goal scorer Rodney Michael Jr for defender Mohamed Sesay.
Despite with 10 men, Sierra Leone kept composure.
Guinea Bissau came close in the 68 min when Cissee Diaby shot hit the woodwork, this brought life into the Guineans attack.
G-Bissau scored in the 73min from a rebound free kick. However, Coach Ken Tabi side held on for their first win in three matches under the Cameroonian.
Sierra Leone Alusine Koroma won the Man of the Match Award after an impressive performance from the young lad from Lunsar.
Sierra Leone Coach post-match:
“The team is a young and has been together for a month now we have gone through the bad times, now we came out with the results.
“I believed in my boys and the performance has shown we are here for business.”
“We want to thank WAFU for given us the opportunity to showcase our talents as for four years no Domestic league in our country but with such tournament, we can see more stars emerging in Africa Football.”
Today matches we will see an all-French affair as Senegal will lock horn with Mali at 4:00 pm, whiles Gambia will take on Guinea, Conakry at 7 pm.
By Our African Correspondent in Liberia Prince Scott – Follow the writer @PrinceArmaniSc2 @football_sierra