Sierra Leone displayed a dominance performance in Agadir, Morocco as they overpowered Sao Tome and Principe to record a convincing 2-0 win in the African Cup of Nations 2023 qualifiers return leg match at the Adrar Stadium on Sunday evening.
It all started well for John Keister’s men when Bo Rangers FC defender, Abubakarr Samura fondly called Lucio finds the net 7’ minutes into the first half, breaking the deadlock to put the visitors ahead, before, Alhassan Koroma slotted home the winner 22 yards away from the 18 yard box in the 28’ minutes to cement the much needed victory.
The Leone Star’s keeps the pressure on the Falcons and True Patriots as they continue to raid their defensive area with Mustapha Bundu having an open chance on the quarter-hour mark as he shot from the outside of the near post on the right corner after Kaika’s shot was earlier blocked by the defenders in a close range.
Sao Tome and Principe fought to gain possession in the early stages of the first half but Sierra Leone comfortably dictate the pace of the match, using the flanks to dominate the play.
It becomes harder for the Falcons and True Parrots when they begin to frequently lose the ball cheaply in the final third due to poor passes.
They came close in the second half with their first open chance which deflected off Sierra Leone goalkeeper, Ibrahim Sesay who made some brilliant saves to keep a clean sheet for his nation.
At the closing end of the match, Sierra Leone was very comfortable with their 2-0 lead as they claimed the three points to restore their hope and live to fight another day.
The win kept Leone Stars hope alive in their journey to qualify for the continent’s biggest football tournament as they reduced the gap to one point behind Nigeria who have 6 point in group A.
Sierra Leone sits in third place with 5 points from 4 matches, while the Falcons and True Parrots of Sao Tome and Principe are left with a single point in the group as their dreams of qualifying slowly fades away.
Meanwhile, group leaders, Guinea Bissau will be hosting Nigeria on Monday 27th March 2023 at the Estádio Nacional 24 de Setembro for the return leg match in Bissau. The Wild Dogs stuns the Super Eagle in Abuja Nigeria 1-0 to claim the top spot in the group A with 7 points during their last meeting on Friday.
A draw between Guinea Bissau and Nigeria will reduced the pressure on Sierra Leone in the race to fight for a qualification spot in the group.
Sao Tome and Principe: G. Tavinho, L. Soares, I. Viegas, A. Ramos, A. Neves, E. Viegas (K. Semedo 81′), Aldair, Dinho (Tinho 46′), M. Barbeiro (Iniesta 90+3′), Harramiz (R. Afonso 46′), L. Leal.
Sierra Leone: I. Sesay, A. Samura, S. Caulker, E. Samadia, M. Bundu (I. Turay 78′), P. Barrie, Alh. Koroma, A. Kargbo (J. Morsay 59′), S. Kaikai (K. Conteh 68′), Alu. Koroma, A. Kamara (R. Williams 67′).