Afcon Qualifier: Sierra Leone’s Keister unruffled ahead of Benin clash

Afcon Qualifier: Sierra Leone’s Keister unruffled ahead of Benin clash

The Leone Stars handler disclosed that his team remains calm ahead of Monday’s decisive fixture against the Squirrels

There is no pressure in Sierra Leone’s camp ahead of Monday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin Republic, according to coach John Keister.

The Group L fixture initially billed for Tuesday, March 30, at the National Stadium, Freetown did not take place owing to a Covid-19 controversy.

However, both teams will now square up against one another at the General Lansana Conte Stadium – a game that will determine the last team to secure a place for Cameroon 2022.

A 1-0 win will be enough for Leone Stars to qualify. But should the Squirrels – who just need a draw to qualify score, Keister’s men will need a two-goal margin win at least to qualify and end their 26-year Afcon hiatus.

However, the Sierra Leonean boss revealed that there is no ‘discomfort’ within his squad.

“There is no pressure. Our ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, and there is no discomfort within our squad,” Keister told Caf website.

“This squad is a blend of both young and experienced players; I’ve rationally selected 11 local and 15 foreign-based players.

“Thankfully, despite the numerous challenges, we succeeded to arrange a camp and let our players train together in Freetown since last Monday.

“What I need now is support from our fans at home and abroad. Already there is a huge willingness among the players and the whole nation wants us to qualify.

“So, I’m on to guide the team to get the best result against Benin and proceed to Cameroon next year.”

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Mohamed N. Kamara (East End Lions), Francis Koroma (Mighty Blackpool), Ibrahim Sesay (East End Tigers)

Defenders: Umaro Bangura (Xamax, Switzerland), Osman Kakay (QPR, England), Lamin Conteh (FC Johansen), Rafael Koroma (FC Johansen), Abu Bakarr Samura (FC Kallon), David Janneh (RSLAF), Ibrahim Mansaray (FC Kallon), Abdul Razak Conteh (East End Lions)

Midfielders: John Kamara (Keshla FC, Azerbaijan), Alusine Koroma (Real Balompedica Linense, Spain), Kassim Turay(Central Parade), Mohamed Medo Kamara (Unattached), Kwame Quee (Vikingur Reykjavik, Iceland), Saidu Fofanah (FC Kallon), Brince Barrie(Bo Rangers), Alhassan Koroma (Real Balompedica Linense, Spain), Augustus Kargbo (AC Reggina 1991, Italy)

Forwards: Kai Kamara (Unattached), Sullay Kai Kai (Blackpool, England), Alhaji Kamara (Randers FC, Denmark), Mustapha Bundu (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium), Idrissa Kanu (Peterborough, England) and Augustus Williams(LA Galaxy, USA)