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Sierra Leone intensify preparations in make or mar clash against Super Eagles

super eagles

Sierra Leone are intensifying preparations ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier clash against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Liberia this Sunday as the Leone Stars look to get maximum points to keep their hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament alive.

Led by former player, John Keister, Sierra Leone are third in group A with 6 points behind Guinea-Bissau, 7, and Nigeria 9. However, the Leone Stars are hopeful of creating an upset against the Super Eagles despite missing several important players due to injury. A total of 12 foreign-based Sierra Leone players have been invited for the crucial tie alongside 26 home-based players.

While speaking to the media on Tuesday, John Kester acknowledged that the tie against the Super Eagles is going to be a difficult one but his side will be ready. He also alluded to the fact that he was part of the Sierra Leone team that once defeated a star-studded Super Eagles team.

“We know how difficult it can be in football, but then again I am not “one for excuses, I just believe in doing the work and concentrating on what we have to do, and doing it to the best of our ability because that is all that matters,” the gaffer said in a video posted on the Sierra Leone football’s federation Facebook page.

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“We are going there (Monrovia) to compete and that is a fact. We are not going there to lie down, this is a time when I don’t really need to tell the players the significance of the game because they should understand that and should relish the challenge of coming up against Nigerian players that are doing very well abroad.

John Kester was part of the Sierra Leone team that earned a famous victory over the Super Eagles during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Moronvia. The match ended 1-0 with the likes of Finidi George, Jay-Jay Okocha, and Kanu Nwankwo featuring for Nigeria then.

“I remember in 2001, I was part of the Sierra Leone team that beat Nigeria 1-0 and this was when no one expected anything from us. I have that feeling again with this team going to Liberia to face Nigeria, despite the challenges we have with players suspended, several personal issues and injuries, that we can do it again.”

He added, “We can’t afford to show them too much respect and that is a fact in football. It is about how badly we want it and how much we can motivate the boys and trust them to go and perform. Like I said, they have some good players doing well abroad, but it is about how we approach the game and we will go into the game with a very strong mentality as we have always done.”

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The match is slated for the SKD Stadium in Liberia on Sunday 18th June.

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