Unarguably, the young Fennecs of Algeria, despite losing to Senegal few days ago in one of their warm-up friendlies, will be one of coach John Keister’s toughest test, yet. Algeria will host Sierra Leone in the final round of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers first-leg in Blida, Algeria.
Keister’s men, nevertheless, have been more than impressive on the road. They eliminated a much fancied Cameroon side on away goals and they did so in style despite playing away from their fans.
But, the North Africans on paper have a wealth of experience and are better prepared, however, taking nothing for granted Sierra Leone side have proven beyond all reasonable doubt that they can continue to light up the Olympic flame on the road and this time is in Algeria.
Skipper Sorie Barrie, the scorer of Sierra Leone’s only goal in Yaoundé, feels his side are now very inspired after eliminating a strong Cameroon side.
“I’m not going to stand here and say, we are going to win against Algeria,” Barrie said after Algeria emerged as their next opponent.
“We’re not getting carried away. We have a chance, as long as everyone in the squad is fit and strong, we can go out there with the right mentality.
“Everyone can see the potential that we have, but it’s the same with Algeria.”
All eyes will be on the standing 6 feet 4 inches tall, Belgium-based striker Adikalie Kamara who plays for Third Division Turnhout if selected, he will make his debut for Sierra Leone.
The second-leg which Sierra Leone are due to host will be played at the same venue on 25 July. Sierra Leone play all of their home matches away due to the Ebola outbreak in the country.
Africa’s representatives to the Olympic Games will be decided in Dakar, Senegal from November 28-December 12 where an eight-team tournament will be held.
The top three at this tournament will qualify for the Games.
By Alie Bittar