Sierra Leone group confirmed as Leone Stars discovered opponents in the race to AFCON 2023.

The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone have been placed in Group A in the race to the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, set to be held in Ivory Coast next year.

Coach John Keister’s team will face three-time African champions Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome or Mauritius for a place in Ivory Coast 2023.

Most Sierra Leoneans will ultimately be pleased with the outcome of the draw that was conducted on April 19 in Johannesburg, South Africa, by the CAF Director of Competitions Samson Adamu and assisted by African football legends Lucas Radebe and Ivorian Solomon Kalou.

Both Nigeria and Sierra Leone qualified from Group L to the Afcon in Cameroon after the Leone Stars ended as second best behind the Super Eagles following their 1-0 over Benin on June 15th 2021.

After 25 years of absence, the Leone Stars came agonisingly close to making Afcon 2021 last sixteen after falling short by a missed Kei Kamara’s spot-kick against Equatorial Guinea last January at the Limbe Stadium.

Nigeria ranked 30th in the global ranking, followed by Sierra Leone at 108th, Guinea Bissau at 115th, Mauritius at 179th and Sao Tome, ranked 183rd.

There are 12 groups of four teams – only the top two teams from each group will qualify for the Afcon finals in Ivory Coast.

The fixtures, dates and venues for the qualifiers that are set to get underway in June 2022 will be released by the Confederation of African Football accordingly.

Head-to-head meetings

Sierra Leone v Nigeria 2 wins, 9 defeats, and 5 draws

Sierra Leone v Guinea Bissau – Won 7, drew 5 and no defeat 

Sierra Leone v Mauritius – No Meeting

Sierra Leone v Sao Tome & Principe – 1 win, 1 draw and 2 defeats 

THE 2023 AFCON QUALIFIERS DRAW IN FULL

Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome

Group B: Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini, Burkina Faso

Group C: Namibia, Kenya, Burundi, Cameroon

Group D: Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea, Egypt

Group E: Angola, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Ghana

Group F: Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Algeria

Group G: The Gambia, Congo, South Sudan, Mali

Group H: Lesotho, Comoros, Zambia, Ivory Coast

Group I: Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan, DR Congo

Group J: Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Tunisia

Group K: Zimbabwe, Liberia, South Africa, Morocco

Group L: Mozambique, Rwanda, Benin, Senegal

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

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