AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Leone Stars boss Keister eyes huge upset against Nigeria

AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Leone Stars boss Keister eyes huge upset against Nigeria

Sierra Leone head coach John Keister is confident his side can pull off an upset when they face the Super Eagles in the matchday 5 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this week.

The former Sierra Leone international believes his team can replicate the performance of their 2001 side, which he was a part of, when they defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers thanks to a first-half strike from Sidique Mansaray.

“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,” the 52-year-old tactician stated.

“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, we can do it again.”

The encounter between Nigeria and the Leone Stars is a must-win for Keister’s side, who are currently third in the Group A standings with four points from five games, behind the Super Eagles and Guinea Bissau.

Nigeria boasts more established international stars and are the undisputed favourites to win the match, but Keister has urged his players to be brave when they come up against the three-time African champions.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

The Leone Stars will welcome the Super Eagles for the second leg of their tie, which will take place at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia, Liberia, on Sunday, June 18 at 5pm (West African Time).



You can catch the match between Sierra Leone and Nigeria LIVE on the go on Afrosport TV on Free TV channel 730 and on VIDIVU from 4:30pm WAT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories