MLS leading goal scorer Kei Kamara (Pictured at the Adokiye Stadium) is hoping he can help Sierra Leone get a better result against the African Champions.
Sierra Leone go toe to toe on Sunday against the Ivory Coast in their Group I 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Gabon qualifier scheduled for September 6 at Adokiye Amiessiamaka national stadium, Port Harcourt.
The last time the two teams met in Abidjan was in the 2015 AFCON qualifiers, the Elephants famously thrashing Leone Stars 7-2 on aggregate in two legs.
Kei, 31, accounted for Sierra Leone’s first goal in the 2015 first leg qualifier in the Ivorian capital a match the Elephants won 2-1.
For the first time, since the Ebola outbreak Sierra Leone is hosting their home fixture in a neutral venue.
Speaking from Port Harcourt Kei said, “Everyone is here and we are going to work with the talent that we have.
“It’s a lot of new faces, but we all have the same goal, representing Mama Salone well.
When asked about his goal against Ivory Coast if that is in anyway a morale booster for his confidence, to the contrary he said.
“That goal is in the past, I am just looking forward in getting a result in this game. They are the best team in Africa and we have a lot of work to do on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, soccer fans at home and abroad are also thoughtfully hopeful aiming for the national team not to stumble after a disappointing 1 nil defeat to Sudan in the opening day of the qualifiers back in June.
“The atmosphere seems to be good with few named big star players available for this encounter and Ivory Coast missing few of their stars, it’s an opportunity to get a respectable result,” John Foray said in an email to FSL.
“More foreign-based players should have strengthened the team instead of the 16 officials with the team in Nigeria, but we have to support our boys, hopefully this time in neutral venue we get the result, Moses Kargbo from the USA, noted.
“We hope and pray our football authorities change for the best, but we are still a long way behind the top nations in Africa considering our football predicament back home, but Good Luck Leone Stars,” Saidu in Canada pointed out.
“It’s very difficult for the players, but we hope they can try to win back the confidence of the nation, which has sunk low because of a disappointing performance in recent years,” Moe Alie Sweden.
Sierra Leone, who first and last appeared at the AFCON finals tournament in 1994 in Tunisia and 1996 in South Africa, will be seeking to register a good result against their West African counterpart on Sunday.
By Alie Bittar