Sierra Leone Stars must show winning attributes on Friday as they host the Elephants of Ivory Coast November 14 at the Felix Houphouet Boingy Stadium in match day 5 of the 2015 Africa Nations Cup Group D Qualifier.
They still have the slimmest chance for qualification and must be firing on all cylinders, Ivory Coast striker Gervinho was on target when Les Elephants’ struggled to defeat Sierra Leone in their opening fixtures early September.
Sierra Leone Coach John Ajina Sesay left out the scorer of Sierra Leone’s only goal Kei Kamara when the two sides meet in the opening exchange.
Sierra Leone going into the match without national skipper Umaru Bangura and two of their finest midfielders Khalifa Jabbie and Alfred Sankoh.
Admitting no fears for the Leone Stars, Midfielder John Kamara believes the Leone Stars have everything to win the encounter, but expressed the advantage for the visitors who are playing at home.
The 26-year-old international said: “We are ready to give out a good game hopefully, stun our opponent – one of Africa’s power house.
“Ultimate that is our ambition to win the tie despite is going to be rough and tough.
The Ivorians who are affectively playing away in their own country are more than desperate for maximum points.
Losing to DRC Leopards in October 4-3 leaving them struggling to make Africa’s biggest stage.
Because of the Ebola-Epidemic Sierra Leone are playing all their qualifying matches on the road.
Having just a point from four matches, this is precisely Sierra Leone last chance to get back into contention in the running for the 2015 Nations Cup.
However, Group leaders Cameroon are expected to qualify by defeating DRC Leopards on Saturday in Yaoundé. A point will be enough for them to go through.
The four times Champions are 10 points seating pretty while Congo going for an upset as they did against Ivory Coast.
But a victory for Ivory Coast and Cameroon means that the two giants will be in a pole position for qualification as both nations meet again next Wednesday.
French man Herve Renard is under pressure to resurrect his campaign with the Elephants after two surprising defeats to Cameroon and DRC Leopards.
20-man Squad belowSolomon Zombo Morris, John Trye, Ibrahim bah, Sheriff Suma , David Simbo, Abdul Rahman Bangura , Mustapha Dumbuya, Mohamed Kamanor, Alie Sesay, Yemi Dunia, Mohamed Kamara, John Kamara , Ibrahim Kallay, Lansana Kamara, Mustapha Bangura, Kwame Quee, Alhassan Kamara, Mohamed Kabia , Julius Woobay, Hassan Sesay.
Ivory Coast squad: Goalkeepers: Sylvain Gbohouo (Sewe Sports), Boubacar Barry (Lokeren, Belgium), Sayouba Mande (Stabaek, Norway)
Defenders: Kolo Toure (Liverpool, England), Didier Zokora (Akhisar Belediyespor, Turkey), Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro (Toulouse, France), Diarrassouba Ousmane Viera (Rizesport, Turkey), Brice Dja Djedje (Marseille, France), Siaka Tiéné (Montpelier, France), Wilfried Kanon (Ado Den Haag, Netherlands). Adama Traore (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal) Serge Aurier (PSG, France)
Midfielders: Roger Assale (Sewe San Pedro), Ismael Diomande (St Etienne, France), Yaya Toure (Manchester City, England), Max-Alain Gradel (St Etienne, France), Serey Die (Basel, Switzerland), ), Cheick Doukore (Metz, France)
Strikers: Wilfried Bony (Swansea, England), Gervinho (Roma, Italy), Salomon Kalou (Hertha Berlin, Germany), Gadji Tallo (SC Bastia, France) Gohi Bi Cyriac (Anderlecht, Belgium), Lacina Traore (Monaco, France).
Group D table
Cameroon 10 points DR Congo 6 points Ivory Coast 6 points Sierra Leone 1 point
By Alie A Bittar