Sierra Leone and DR Congo, both nations will face with a tough assignment on Wednesday night as both sides are seeking to swiftly improve their fortunes in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Group D qualifier, the match will be played at the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi.
(Photo: Suma and Kei of Leone Stars)
Lubumbashi is the second largest city in DR Congo, the Leopards who are the visitors are effectively playing at home in front of their fans, Sierra Leone moved their home games to after the African governing body; Caf had ordered them to play at a different venue due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus which is affecting the country.
Sierra Leone’s head Coach Johnny Mckinstry has said Leone Stars defeat to 2014 World Cup representatives Ivory Coast 2-1 in Abidjan is due to ‘inadequate preparation’ and despite Sierra Leone hosting their latest ordeal is not the perfect one.
The Sierra Leone’s delegation arrived in their Lubumbashi DR Congo based at around 2200hrs Monday night and latest media report has ruled out Leone Stars instrumental skipper Umaru’ Zingalay’ Bangura from the tricky tie on Wednesday with a groin injury.
The Belarus based defender told the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) that he sustained the injury during a Leone Stars training session in Abidjan in preparation for their opening group D qualifier against Les Elephants of Ivory Coast which they lost 2-1.
He said: “We trained on an artificial turf and I got injured because it was too hard for me.”I just managed to play against Ivory Coast and it was not easy for me as I was feeling pain. I wasn’t even running properly.
“Now I can’t even run, so I don’t think I’ll be fit for the game against DR Congo, unless miracle happens.”
Reports earlier suggested to FSL news that the jet-lagged Sierra Leone squad was held up at the Kinshasa international airport after an excruciating 14-hour wait time in Casablanca and 7 hours flight to Kinshasa ahead of their schedule home tie against Congo Democratic Republic.
However, Johnny Mckinstry is optimistic that his side will bounce back from defeat in their qualifier against all snags.