The Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup is precisely eight months away and the battle for a ticket in Group I will take a huge turnaround on June 4, 2016, at the National Stadium Freetown if Sierra Leone can dismantle Sudan in match day five of the qualifiers.
A must win game for the host against one of the three teams that participated in the inaugural Africa Cup of Nations in 1957 if they are to resurrect any hope of reaching the 2017 continental big stage.
With two matches left to go in the qualification campaign, the Falcons of Jediane will be coming to Freetown to shut down Leone Stars chances.
Since Sierra Leone has been cleared to host International football matches the expectation has soared following a 1-0 win at home against Gabon back in March.
The Sudan tie will be Sierra Leone’s third international football match after the deadly Ebola virus that ravaged hundreds of lives. Victory for the Leone Stars will move them behind Ivory Coast in the group standings.
Leading the pack as it stands in the group is Ivory Coast who will be hosting the 2017 tournament host, however, Gabon matches are of no significant and points are not taking into consideration in the round of matches.
Only the winner between Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Sudan will emerge from the group and join Gabon to participate in the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial international men’s football championship of Africa organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Having lost 1-0 in Khartoum in the qualifiers opening match, soccer pundits reckon only a victory will rejuvenate Sellas Tetteh’s side in Green, white and Blue going into the final qualifying match in Abidjan against the continent defending champions Ivory Coast first week in September.
Sierra Leone last qualified for the African showpiece tournament 20 years ago in South Africa 1996 when fans favourites’ soccer idol at the age of 16, Mohamed Kallon was the youngest player at the tournament.
He scored one of his country’s two goals as Sierra Leone defeated Burkina Faso 2 – 1 in their opening group match at the 1996 African Nations Cup, played at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
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