Leone Stars set sight on Ethiopia assignment
June 12, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
Head coach and captain of Sierra Leone national team, Leone Stars, stated that they were now setting sights on the Ethiopian match next year, after defeating Kenya 2-1 at the Siaka Steven Stadium in Freetown.
Ethiopia will host Sierra Leone at the Addis Ababa Stadium in Addis on 27 March 2018 and Coach John Keister and his skipper, Umaru Zangalay Bangura, believed the clash in Addis could be a very important one in stamping their foot for a place in Cameroon 2019.
Keister said: “Let me start by congratulating the boys for a good match. I must say well done to them because this was a difficult match for us but we stay positive till the end and secured the important three points.”
“The Kenya assignment is now over. We need to focus on our next match which is away to Ethiopia. Like the Kenya match, it is also an important one for us and we should try to get something out of that match.”
Umaru Zangalay Bangura also re-echoed his boss’s comment, adding that Saturday’s win has given them a special motivation for the away match in Addis Ababa.
“The Kenyans did well but we showed true team spirit and determination. Our focus now is Ethiopia and this is football .Anything can happen over there.We must stay positive and try to get the result we wanted,” Bangura said.
Saturday’s win over the Harambee Stars saw Leone Stars ended the East African 10 match unbeaten run, which mostly came from friendly matches. It was also coach Stanley Okumbi’s third defeat since taking charge of the Stars early last year.
Julius Wobay gave the home side the lead in 22 minutes as his shot past the Kenya goalkeeper, Boniface Oluoch, thanks to Kei Kamara, whose break away on the left setup the cross for Wobay.
The visitors had a chance to draw back level just minutes after the goal from a Victor Wanyama glanced shot after Johanna freekick, but the ball went off the crossbar.
In the 56th minute, Leone Stars came close to double their lead through Alhassan Kamara but he slipped while pulling the trigger from a cross from the right with the ball going wide.
Again in the 63rd minute, Alfred Sanko also slipped a shot on the upright from a Hassan Sessay cross but Leone Stars second of the evening came in the 70th minute from the penalty spot after Kei Kamara was brought down by Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma.
The Sierra Leone skipper, Umaru Bangura, stepped up roof the ball past Oluoch for his seventh goal for Sierra Leone.
Harambee Stars do showed some bit of fighting spirit with 15 minutes from the clock, thanks to a superb free-kick by Michael Olunga. Kenya’s next assignment will be next year’s March when they host Ghana in Nairobi, while Sierra Leone will travel to Ethiopia.