Alex Bangura out of Sierra Leone opening Afcon doubleheader

Alex Bangura out of Sierra Leone opening Afcon doubleheader

SC Cambuur Alex Bangura has confirmed that he will be out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury he sustained during a training session on Thursday.

Sierra Leone will face Three-time African champions Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome or Mauritius in the Group A race to Ivory Coast 2023.

The left-back will miss Sierra Leone’s opening 2023 African Cup of Nation qualifying matches against Nigeria and Guinea Bissau.

Bangura, 22, who made his Sierra Leone debut against Togo at the Mardan Stadium on the 29th of March during the Leone Stars training camp in Turkey, could also miss the remainder of the Dutch season. 

“Unfortunately, I will not be available for the first two Sierra Leone qualifying games because I have fractured my right ankle. I am now on crutches for a few days,” Alex Bangura told FSL News.

The first two qualifiers will kick start between May 30th to June 14th 2022, ahead of the kickoff of the tournament proper in Cote d’Ivoire.

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

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Striker Kei Kamara announces international retirement

Striker Kei Kamara announces international retirement

The oldest player ever to have represented Sierra Leone at the African Cup of Nations, Kei Kamara, has confirmed his retirement from international football – two days after the Afcon 2023 draw.

In his statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the MLS legend stated, “Today I am finally hanging my international jersey to focus on my club career. Now when those international breaks come, I will spend tie with my family, but I will always miss the games at Siaka Steven Stadium.”

“Fifteen years ago, I decided to wear the green, white and blue and represent you on the international stage. I never knew what the journey would bring me, but I tell you, I would do it all over again if I had the chance.”

“Thank you, Sierra Leone, for letting your son dream – a dream that’s not only mine but also one of many Sierra Leone people home and abroad.

“I’ll continue to serve you in any way that I can. I wish Leone Stars all the best and I cannot wait to celebrate you every step of the way.”

The MLS veteran is the fifth all-time leading scorer in league history with 131 goals (and 47 assists) across 368 regular-season matches. 

Kamara has earned 39 caps for the Leone Stars from 2010 to 22, including the just concluded 2022 Africa Cup of Nations

Presently, he is playing for CF Montréal, his ninth MLS team, having had spells with Columbus CrewSporting Kansas City, Colorado RapidsMinnesota United FC and more.

The former f Norwich City striker made his debut for Sierra Leone in a 2-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea in Malabo in June 2008.

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

 

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Sierra Leone coach John Keister wants a positive start

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Sierra Leone coach John Keister speaking for the first time after the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations draw for Côte d’Ivoire 2023, says his Leone Stars side must start with a big ambition.

The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone have been pitted 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 side will face three-time African champions Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome or Mauritius for a place in Ivory Coast 2023.

“We have to start better with a lot of ambition. Our start in the last qualifiers was poor, a disappointing draw against Lesotho at home and a defeat to Benin away. This time, we must do better the mentality of winning is a top priority,” the Manchester-born told FSL News from South Africa.

After 25 years of absence, the former Sierra Leone International guided the Leone Stars to their third Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon 2021 after a 1-0 triumph over Benin.

Sierra Leone was close to making the last sixteen in Cameroon but fell short by a missed Kei Kamara’s spot-kick against Equatorial Guinea last January at the Limbe Stadium.

“We’re going to respect every opponent, but at the same time, having a mindset to better our previous qualification statistics. It is no secret that every African nation has grown – no more big names in African football. We saw that in the just-concluded Afcon in Cameroon. 

‘We want to qualify again, so we must approach every game with the right attitude to get positive results from the start, but we know it’s never going to be an easy task regardless of who we start against.”

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

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High hopes as Sierra Leone draw familiar foes

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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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Old Edwardians end win drought as Diamond Stars stun Johansen

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Old Edwardians hammered Wusum Stars 4-0 in Freetown to register their first league win of the ongoing season in seven months.

Their last win was back in September 2021 against Bai Bureh Warriors (2-1) in Port Loko.

Edwards’ goals come through winger Ernest Harleston’s hattrick and Mohamed Kamara to ensure a big 4-0 triumph at the Approved School on Saturday.

It was a comfortable evening for the home fans, but the win was not enough to get them out of trouble as they’re still standing second from the bottom with 23 points from 26 matches, four wins eleven defeats and eleven draws.

Their next outing is against East End Tigers a must-win for them if they are to fight their way out of the relegation tussle.

Elsewhere in Makeni, Diamond Stars stunned FC Johansen 3-1 as they battle to escape the relegation red line.

Goals from Abass Conteh, Abdul Sesay and Mohamed Fofanah were enough to hold on to a big win at the Wusum Field. Abu Bakarr Kamara netted Johansen’s only goal.

In Port Loko, host Bai Bureh Warriors defeated Central Parade 2-0 courtesy of two penalties scored by Mohamed Kanu and Momoh Sankoh, respectively. As a result, they moved up to 14th on the log with 27 points.

Connect with us @football_sierra, on Facebook/ Instagram Football Sierra Leone, writer FSL Media on Sierra Leone Premier League – Follow your team via the link below. 

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