A 19-min spot-kick converted by Sierra Leone striker Kei Kamara was enough as the Leone Stars won the final spot for the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations to be played in Cameroon 9 January – 6 February 2022.
Despite Benin rally late on, the Leone Stars held on for a laudable win as they join the other 23 teams at the finals in Cameroon in January.
Coach John Kiester registered his first win in the qualification men to guide Sierra Leone to the tournament for the first time in 25 years, while Michel Dussuyer’s Benin reached the quarterfinals in the 2019 edition in Egypt were left ruing their missed chance.
The country last participated in the 1996 Nations Cup in South African, where they were defeated by Zambia 4-0 and Algeria 2-0.
The crunch encounter, initially billed for Tuesday, March 30, at the National Stadium, Freetown did not take place owing to a Covid-19 controversy.
Following controversy in March, the Confederation of African Football moved the game to June 14 at the General Lansana Conte Stadium, but again the game did not go as planned owing to another Covid controversy.
Coach John Keister, in an exciting mood, briefly told this medium that the win is for every single Sierra Leonean. “I am delighted not for myself but for the country I love and my people.”