AFCON: Kamara’s rescue Sierra Leone against Ivory Coast

AFCON: Kamara’s rescue Sierra Leone against Ivory Coast

Bo Rangers striker Musa Noah Kamara and Alhaji Kamara scored their first African Cup of Nations goals for Sierra Leone in the 2-2 draw against Ivory Coast at the Japoma Stadium in Douala.

Sierra Leone started very slow as their counterpart Ivory Coast took the lead through Ajax striker Sébastien Haller in the 25-minutes before Musa Kamara’s 55th-minute leveller.

The Les Elephant wasted several chances before Nicolas Pépé, who was named Man of the Match, doubled the scoreline.

A last-gasp equaliser from another Kamara, Randers striker Alhaji Kamara collected a pass from former England International Steven Caulker to slot in as Sierra leone draws parity. 

Both sides played their part in an enthralling match, which saw Ivory Coast miss an early penalty but then lead twice before Sierra Leone hit back.

Keeper Mohamed Kamara, who won the opener Man of the Match, was at his best today after saving Ivory Coast first penalty. After 10 minutes, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire earned a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was knocked down in the box by defender Osma Konate. But the Sierra Leone goalkeeper was up to the task when he reacted well to stop Franck Yannick Kessie’s spot-kick placed in the bottom right corner.

Experienced Kei Kamara made a vital goal-line clearance which could have changed the storyline for Sierra Leone.

Tention was mounting at the end when Cote d’Ivoire, in added time, brought in their skipper Serge Aurier, who was forced to go in goal after goalkeeper Sangare was carried off injured following his mistake.

Sierra Leone with two points from two games, while the Ivorians top the group with four points to their name.

However, the Elephants have a tough mountain to climb against defending champions Algeria on Thursday (16:00 GMT).

What they said

Nicolas Pépé (Cote d’Ivoire): TotalEnergies Man of the Match

” It’s good to have had this trophy but I would have preferred to have the three points of victory to ensure our qualification in the second round this evening. Now we have to go and keep working to make a big game against a big team from Algeria. We have to put out a big performance because the objective is to finish first in the group.

John Keister, Sierra Leone coach:

“Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed it if someone had told me that we would have two points against these great teams of Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Now we have managed to do it, we must continue to work to succeed in our participation in this competition, 25 years later, it is not a question of changing our objective along the way, above all we have a great match to deliver against Equatorial Guinea, after that we will advise, the work must continue especially at the level of the defensive organization, we have conceded far too many chances this evening (Sunday evening) unlike our match against Algeria.

Patrick Beaumelle, Cote d’Ivoire coach:

“Our dressing room remained silent, heads are low, we just gave two points, as a gift. What can be done in terms of organization on this second goal, I still do not understand, what happened, I continue to search, it is also the charm of the Africa Cup of Nations. On the other hand, we must continue to work to improve our efficiency with 18 chances, it was enough to score the 30 per cent to take cover.”

Connect with us @football_sierra, on Facebook/ Instagram Football Sierra Leone, the writer @bittar32 in Douala, Cameroon Contact bittar@footballsierraleone.net.

Related Articles

Home-based TM Bah donates 100 balls to SLFA

Home-based TM Bah donates 100 balls to SLFA

The newly appointed Team Manager of the Sierra Leone homebased national team, Alhaji Umar Bah, donated 100 training footballs to the Sierra Leone Football Association on Saturday at the secretariats. The home-based team coordinator Victor Lewis was pleased with Bah's...

read more
Sierra Leone drop to 113 in latest global rankings

Sierra Leone drop to 113 in latest global rankings

Sierra Leone dropped from 108 to 113th in the latest FIFA global rankings after their opening 2023 African Cup of Nations 2-1 defeat to Nigeria and 2-2 against Guinea-Bissau this month. The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone suffered a 2-1 defeat to three-time African...

read more

Ambassador Mohamed Kallon optimistic ahead of Ivory Coast tie

Ambassador Mohamed Kallon optimistic ahead of Ivory Coast tie

Former Sierra Leone skipper and Cup of Nations ambassador Mohamed Kallon is optimistic that the Leone Stars will produce the result needed to make the round of sixteen.

A win for Sierra Leone will almost ensure their place in the tournament round of sixteen for the first time in history. Sierra Leone’s only Cup of Nations victory was a 2-1 win over Burkina-Faso at the Free State StadiumBloemfontein, South Africa 1996. John Gbassay Sessay  11′ and Mohamed Kallon  89′ accounted for the goals.

Kallon is aware that resilient Leone Stars must put in a top-notch performance like the Algeria game to end the Les Éléphants of Ivory Coast unbeaten run against Sierra Leone.

The kickoff at the 50,000-capacity all-seater Japoma Stadium is at 16 MGT + 1 on Sunday in the Japoma locality in Douala.

Speaking to Football Sierra Leone cameras, he said, “We are here to ensure the team is well prepared for top matches, and I am optimistic that this team has the potential to progress to the round of sixteen.”

The former Monaco striker, who is in Douala in the capacity as Afcon ambassador to Leone Stars, reiterated that the team is well balanced.

“90% per cent of the players are young, which means they’re going to serve the national team for a long time. As we all noticed from their first match against Algeria, they played as if they played in the tournament before with confidence and composure, and i think if we have to work with the strength of the team, that will allow us to hurt any team.”

He also acknowledged the importance of the support-technical team appointed by the SLFA. The likes of Lamin Conteh, Lamin Bangura, his elder brother Keimokai Kallon.

“I was pleased with the appointment of the support team, the Lamin Bangura, Keimokai Kallon and Lamin Conteh to share their experience and to help condense the pressure on the team.”

Kallon recalled playing against Burkina Faso noted that this team played well as compared to their triumph at the Bloemfontein, South Africa 1996.

“If you go back to my time, our first performance against Burkina-Faso, you cannot compare to this performance against Algeria. The lads played well, well organised, well-disciplined. 

Those days, things were a little bit different. This current team, based on the exposure of the players, and on what they have shown so far looking at the table and statistics, if we can have a point or our prime objective, game day objective is to win against Ivory Coast, which is possible because I saw their team. If we can take the game to Ivory Coast, we can get something out of this game.”

Here is what coach John Keister had to say in Saturday’s briefings

“I think we very comfortable around which way we wanted to go. I think we can get something out of the Ivory Coast game. Ivory Coast is not going to be any different. Football is on the day, and that is the motivation, guys.”

“It’s going to be a difficult game, but If we want to get better as a coach as a footballing nation, we have to play against the better teams, and that is how we have to test ourselves and see where we are, as a nation.”

Keister was pleased with how former International Steven Can have adapted quickly into his squad. 

He emphasised that records are meant to be broken when responding to a question of Ivory Coast unbeaten run against Sierra Leone.

When asked about any injury concerns, Keister noted, they will come out with injuries news, if any, at the right time. It is very difficult when you access players. We have a match tomorrow – we have to give ourselves time. We are very mindful.

Connect with us @football_sierra, on Facebook/ Instagram Football Sierra Leone, the writer @bittar32 in Douala, Cameroon Contact bittar@footballsierraleone.net.

Related Articles

SLFA launches probe into massive domestic record scorelines

SLFA launches probe into massive domestic record scorelines

The Sierra Leone Football Association, SLFA, have opened an investigation into two first division matches that finished after 187 goals scored in Kenama and Kono. The SLFA informed the football fraternity on Monday that they have commenced an investigation into the...

read more
Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie pens Barcelona deal

Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie pens Barcelona deal

Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie has signed for Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona on a four-year deal from AC Milan on a free transfer. The 25-year-old, who helped Milan win the Serie A title last season, has been described by Barcelona as "the complete midfielder."...

read more
Women’s Afcon: Senegal, Tunisia register wins

Women’s Afcon: Senegal, Tunisia register wins

The 12th edition of the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations continues on Sunday as Teranga Lionesses defeated Uganda 2-0 in Group A to top the standings in Group A. The Teranga Lionesses proved that they are ready to go as far as possible after scoring twice...

read more

Salah guides Egypt to beat Guinea-Bissau and rekindle hope

Salah guides Egypt to beat Guinea-Bissau and rekindle hope

Egypt secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau to revive their chances of a last 16 place in TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.

Talisman and captain Mohamed Salah scored the lone goal to give the Pharos their first points of the tournament following their disappointing defeat to Nigeria.

The Liverpool forward volleyed past Djutus keeper Mendes with his left foot from Amro El Soulia’s clever pass over the top on 69 minutes.

The Pharaohs were forced to work hard for their victory as Guinea-Bissau put up a brave performance against the record AFCON champions in Garoua.

Egypt survived a late scare as Guinea-Bissau had a late goal disallowed following on field video assistant referee review.

Mama Balde fired past the impressive El Shenawy having earlier impeded Omar Abdelwahed in the build-up.

Egypt came into the match on the back of a lacklustre performance against Nigeria and needed a win to rekindle their hopes of progressing. They started brightly with Salah crashing the outside of the Guinea-Bissau post inside two minutes.

Zizo and Omar Marmoush both saw their efforts came of the post as Egypt look for the second goal against the spirited Bissau Guineans.

The Djutus had chances of their own through Moro Cassama, Jorge Fernando and Fali Cande but they failed to beat El Shenawy, who helps Egypt to their first victory of the tournament.

Egypt move to second Group D three behind Nigeria who earlier booked their knockout stage place with a convincing 3-1 over Sudan.

What they said

Mohamed Salah (Man of the Match)

We have a new coach and new generation. After the defeat against Nigeria, we had to rearrange ourselves. We will fight in this tough competition and believe in our chances and where we can go.

Carlos Queiroz (Coach, Egypt)

This win is for Egyptian fans who believed in their team. After four days of pressure the players has shown their strong character and rebounded in a good way. We deserved to win by a bigger margin, but luck was not on our side. We will be better game by game.

CAF – African Football News – Follow us on Twitter @football_sierra On Facebook & Instagram: Football Sierra Leone.

Related Articles

Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie pens Barcelona deal

Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie pens Barcelona deal

Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie has signed for Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona on a four-year deal from AC Milan on a free transfer. The 25-year-old, who helped Milan win the Serie A title last season, has been described by Barcelona as "the complete midfielder."...

read more
Women’s Afcon: Senegal, Tunisia register wins

Women’s Afcon: Senegal, Tunisia register wins

The 12th edition of the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations continues on Sunday as Teranga Lionesses defeated Uganda 2-0 in Group A to top the standings in Group A. The Teranga Lionesses proved that they are ready to go as far as possible after scoring twice...

read more
CAF confirm new date for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

CAF confirm new date for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

The Confederation of African football, CAF, have revealed new dates for the 34th edition of the competition. Initially scheduled for Ivory Coast next year in June/July, but as a result of the expected bad weather conditions, Caf has decided to move the continental...

read more