Sierra Leone head coach John Keister (in Photo) has set his sight on reviving their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification with a win when they host Sao Tome & Principe at Stade Agadir in Morocco on Wednesday. Kick-off is at 17hrs GMT.
Third in Group A with just one point after a 2-2 draw against Guinea Bissau and a 2-1 defeat away to Nigeria, today’s match day three qualifier is a must-win for the West African side.
Something coach Keister is fully aware of after his AFCON experience in Cameroon. The Leone Stars have set their sights on back-to-back wins over Sao Tome to revitalise any hope of reaching Ivory Coast 2023.
Head coach John Keister said, “Going to Cameroon after 25 years (away from the competition) was probably the best thing that’s happened to Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone football in that period.”
“It’s a challenge, but I love challenges. I want to carry on working and hopefully get the right group of players. I am enjoying it. I’m trying to do the best I can. The aim is to qualify for the next Afcon, but I have hopes and aims as a manager.”
Sao Tome, on the other hand, suffered two heavy defeats (1-5 against Guinea-Bissau and 0-10 against Nigeria). However, in football, anything can happen in different games.
The Falcons and True Parrots Team have only managed wins over fellow minnows Mauritius in the past seven years.
Skipper Steven Caulker focus on the task at hand.
“It’s a must-win game for us. Because if we must qualify, we should win these games. “These are two important games against São Tomé and Príncipe, and today (Monday) is our first training session. We all know the importance of these matches,” Caulker told FSL News.
He reiterated, “I don’t need to tell them much because every player here knows how significant these two matches are. The coach gave us his message before the training, and the match will not be easy. We have to be mentally and physically ready for these matches.”
This will be the fifth meeting between the two nations. Their last meeting was a goalless draw in Africa Cup of Nations 1st round 2nd leg Freetown 16 June 2012. Sao Tome e Principe won the first leg 2-1 at home on 29 February 2012.
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