CHAN: Coach Zappa Koroma pleased with training progress

CHAN: Coach Zappa Koroma pleased with training progress

Sierra Leone home-based coach Francis Zappa Koroma has said he is pleased with his preparation ahead of the doubleheader against Cape Verde at the Grand Stade de Marrakech on July 24 and 27, respectively.

The former International, when answering our questions, indicated that his team is ready to compete in month’s 2023 CHAN qualifiers in Morocco.

Home-based Leone Stars have engaged in a series of friendlies as part of their groundwork. The training squad of 24 players spent twelve days together in Eastern Province, Kenema.

Out of eleven friendlies, they won ten and drew one before returning to Freetown in readiness for departure on Wednesday.

“During the training camp in Kenema, I am pleased to say it was intense, but the players were focused. They are fully aware of the importance of this competition. It is obvious that we are going to face these matches in Morocco with a positive attitude.”

“We want to qualify, hence why, as a team, we have been working well together. The willingness from the players has been going quite well. We have selected the best player in the country for now.

“The technical team has been working on going beyond the first stage of this competition because Sierra Leone, as we all know, has never qualified for the CHAN Afcon.”

The aggregate winner over two-legged matches will face Mali in the next stage. 

Sierra Leone was eliminated by Senegal 4-2 on aggregate during the 2018 African Nations Championship qualifiers. 

Sierra Leone was ineligible for the 2020 tournament due to a FIFA sanction.

Morocco won the last competition for the second time after overcoming Mali 2-0 in a thrilling final at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde on February 7 2020, in Cameroon.

Meanwhile, Malian official Sory Ibrahima Keita will be in charge of this tie. Nouhoum Bamba is the R one, Amadou belly Guisse Amadu is the AR 2 and Abdoulaye Sissoko the foruth official.

Sierra Leone’s Songor Koedoyoma is the Covid 19 officer. Match commissioner Mis from Mauritania.

The final tournament is slated to be played in Algeria from 8‚Äď31 January 2023.

Connect with us on Twitter, @football_sierra, Facebook -Instagram, Football Sierra Leone, and Chan Qualifying News.  

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Konyaspor renew interest in attacker Issa Kallon

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Turkish¬†S√ľper Lig¬†Konyaspor¬†have reignited their interest in¬†Sierra Leone Dutch-born winger Isaa Kallon.

The 26-year-old contract with Dutch top-tier side SC Cambuur-Leeuwarden expires on June 30th. The versatile winger had previously expressed interest in joining Konyaspor.

Turkish media Haberdairesi reported that the green-white management is in talks with the player. 

Kallon, who has been at Cambbur since 2017, was disappointed after the Dutch side refused to let him go in February this year.

The left-winger wanted a move to Konyaspor, but the Dutch club did not accept the offer Konyaspor reportedly agreed with the winger.

Kallon featured in 33 Dutch topflight matches for Cambuur scoring five goals last season. 

Meanwhile, on Friday, the club continue its preparations for the 2022-2023 season with the first stage of preparation camp at our Koyuncu Group KayacńĪk Facilities.

The technical team led by ńįlhan Palut evaluated the day after activating the CORE warm-up.

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The Sierra Leone Premier League best player of the 2021 campaign and top scorers Musa Noah Kamara will join China-based attacker Mohamed Buya Turay and Panetolikos winger in striking force to face Nigeria at the MKO Abiola stadium.

The kickoff for the Group A opener is 4 pm Sierra Leone time as Leone Stars will look to pick up a third consecutive victory and get their AFCON qualifier campaign off to a flying start.

New Middleborough midfield Kamil Conteh will pair Alhansan Koroma and John Kamara in the middle of the pack.

Skipper Steven Caulker, who was an instrumental figure in the Leone Stars side during the 2021 African Cup of Nation, will play alongside Alie Sesay.

The three-time African Champions Super Eagles searching for their third consecutive appearance at the continental showpiece, are currently on a five-game winless run and will look to end this dry spell.

Sierra Leone will look to pick up a third consecutive victory and get their AFCON 2023 qualifier campaign off to a flying start.

Nigeria have now failed to taste victory in each of their most recent five games across all competitions, picking up two draws and losing three since claiming three consecutive wins in Group D of the 2022 AFCON back in January.

Like the Super Eagles, Sierra Leone aiming to start well in this year’s qualifiers, are unbeaten in their last four qualifying games, claiming three draws and a win over Benin last June.

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

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The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone, like 47 other nations, will know their group opponents in the race to Ivory Coast 2023 this month after the Confederation of African Football has confirmed the draw.

In a communique released on Friday, CAF has said that the draw for the group stages will be conducted on Tuesday 19 April 2022 at 17h30 GMT and will announce all the platforms where people can watch or follow in due course.

The road to Cote d’Ivoire TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations will gain momentum in June 2022 when the Group Stages commence.

CAF also noted that the Organising Committee have approved modifications to the June 2022 window, moving two matches from June to March next year.

Ahead of the draw, Sierra Leone, who missed out on a place in the last sixteen in Cameroon following a 1-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea, placed in Pot 2.

AFCON 2023 Pots ahead of the draw

Pot 1  Senegal  Morocco  Nigeria  Egypt  Tunisia  Cameroon  Algeria  Mali  Ivory Coast  Burkina Faso  Ghana  DR Congo

Pot 2  South Africa  Cape Verde  Guinea  Gabon  Benin  Uganda  Zambia  Congo  Equatorial Guinea  Madagascar  Kenya  Sierra Leone

Pot 3  Namibia  Mauritania  Guinea-Bissau  Niger  Libya  Mozambique  Malawi  Togo Zimbabwe  Gambia  Angola  Comoros

Pot 4  Tanzania  Central African Republic  Sudan  Rwanda  Burundi  Ethiopia  Eswatini  Lesotho  Botswana  Liberia  South Sudan  São Tomé and Príncipe

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The kickoff is at 4 PM local time & 1 PM Sierra Leone time. Head Coach John Keister has made eight changes to the squad that defeated Liberia 1-0 on Sunday.

In goal, FC Johansen keeper Unisa Conteh is in for Ibrahim Sesay. In-form East End Lions striker Alie Conteh to start for the first time in Turkey.

Cambuur duo Alex Bangura and Issa Kallon were named to the squad. In Midfield, Kamil Conteh, Ibrahim Sillah and Kallum Cesay.

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After the opening defeat to Togo, John Keister’s side wrapped up their preparation on Saturday ahead of taking on neighbours Liberia at the Mardan Sports multi-purpose stadium in Aksu, Antalya, Turkey, on Sunday.

With no injury concern for Sierra Leone, Keister says his team is looking forward to Sunday’s match.¬†

“They are hungry to showcase their talent lots of young players have come in to do their best for the nation. Liberia, as always not an easy side, but we are optimistic of bright light at the end of the tunnel,” the coach told SLFA Media in Turkey.

Both West African neighbours have played eighteen times in all competitions, with the Lone Star of Liberia having the advantage with nine wins, five draws and four defeats.

Sierra Leone won the last meeting at the Siaka Steven Stadium by a goal to nil courtesy of a Kei Kamara’s goal in the FIFA World Cup 1st qualifying round 2nd September 8, 2019, after the Lone Stars had previously won at home 3-1 in the first leg.

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