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Salone to face Gambia in U-20 qualifiers

February 12, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Sierra Leone will start their qualifying campaign for the 20th edition of the African Youth Championship with a two-legged tie against West African opponent, The Gambia.

The two nations were paired together in the tournament’s preliminary round during Wednesday’s draw, which was held in Cairo, Egypt.

Sierra Leone’s Shooting Stars will first host the Young Scorpions of Gambia in Freetown for the first leg encounter between April 1 and 3, with the return leg played in match in Banjul between 22 and 24 April.

The winner of the tie will face Morocco who were given a bye, meaning they will join the qualifiers in the second round.

Should the Shooting Stars progress from the preliminaries, they will host the first leg of the second round tie between May 20 and 22, with the return match in Rabat between June 10 and 12. The winner of that tie will entertain the winner between Ivory Coast or Liberia and Guinea Conakry.

Like Sierra Leone and Gambia, Guinea and Liberia will first battle in the preliminary round.

This will mark the second meeting between Sierra Leone and Gambia in this tournament. The first was way back in 2010, which the Gambians won and advanced to the next round, thanks to their 4-1 first leg win at home in Banjul. The return leg in Freetown ended in a goalless draw, thus the Young Scorpions progressing to the tournament’s next round with a 4-1 aggregate win.

Shooting Stars were again knocked out of the tournament’s 19th edition by the Black Satellites of Ghana, who registered a 4-1 aggregate win after defeating the Stars 2-1 in Accra and 2-0 in Bo, Southern region of Sierra Leone.

The Black Satellites eventually finished as third place winner at the 2015 Championship in Senegal after defeating Mali 3-1.

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