Sierra Leone’s road to AFCON23 becomes tougher as Guinea Bissau beat Nigeria

Sierra Leone hope of qualifying for the African Cup of Nation lies on a thin thread following Guinea Bissau vital 1-0 away win over the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja

The Leone Stars were expecting the match to go in favour of Nigeria or at least a draw between both sides to help boost their chances of progressing from the group, if they record a win against Sao Tome and Principe in their second leg match on Sunday.

But their hope winks as the Wild Dogs of Guinea Bissau punished the Super Eagles in front of their home crowd with a hard-fought 1-0 win against a tough Nigerian side that has the presence of top European based players.

Sierra Leone settled for a 2-2 draw with Sao Tome and Principe on Wednesday, and fans across the country lambasted coach Keister and his boys for not being able to win against a team that conceded fifteen goals in two games.

Nigeria Squad

Prior to the match, many were expecting the group A leaders, Nigeria to beat Guinea Bissau based on their attacking strength as they were the favourite side before kick-off.

But that ends up to be the opposite as Guinea-Bissau Mama Balde  breaks the deadlock before the half-hour mark, sending the home fans early to bed with an impromptu silence in the arena.

Nigeria created some clear chances after the break, but their striking force were unable to fire into the net. Not even their star man, Victor Osimhen could help as the Wild Dogs defended their goal to secure the three points in Abuja.

Following their win, the Wild Dogs move on to seven points, overtaking THE Super Eagles who now has 6 points at the top of Group A. While Sierra Leone sits in third place with 2 points and Sao Tome and Principe with 1 points.

According to reports from the Leone Stars camp in Morocco, the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), Thomas Daddy Brima has urged the players to display loyalty and nationalism in their next match against Sao Tome and Principe.

In his statement, he reiterated that the result from the last match was disappointing and it’s not the outcome they were expecting. But with faith, he believes the boys will win and increase their points tally to five on Sunday.

John Keister (Sierra Leone Coach)

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have produced the result. It’s up to the boys to show loyalty and nationalism in the upcoming game; they have to show how much they love Sierra Leone.

“The performance of the players was not good at all on Wednesday. We could have won provided they had done the right thing on the pitch,” the SLFA boss said. 

“We have played our part as an FA. The government of Sierra Leone supported the team with the required resources. See the state-of-the art hostel, good food, and good hospitality.

“Beating Sao Tome has always been difficult, let’s go back to history. They have defeated us twice. But I am sure we are going to beat them on Sunday”, Brima concludes.

Sao Tome will be hosting Sierra Leone on Sunday in Agadir, Morocco and Nigeria will face off against Guinea Bissau on Monday for the return leg matches.

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