Leone Stars of Sierra Leone are seeking to revive their 2017 African Cup of Nations hopes under care-taker Ghanaian Coach Sellas Tetteh on Sunday when they take on the reigning African champions, Ivory Coast.
The Ghanaian tactician will for the first time be in charge of the Sierra Leonean squad as he hopes to restore confidence in the squad- that suffered a 1-0 defeat in their Group I opener to Sudan in Khartoum.
He said: “I’m aware of the huge challenge of playing against the Elephants, but we cannot underrate ourselves in this match. In football nothing is impossible.
Tetteh will be relying on Sierra Leone’s inform striking duo, Kei Kamara and Mohamed Poborsky Bangura to lead his attack whilst he will also welcome Saudi based defender David Simbo to the squad.
Ivory Coast on the other hand are eager to use Sunday’s match to commence their title defence of its African title and will also mark the debut for new coach Michel Dussuyer reign.
The Frenchman however will have to do without Manchester City stars Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony plus Newcastle United midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote but he will be pleased by the recent Champions League form of Seydou Doumbia of CSKA Moscow to bolster his striking force.
Leone Stars will use the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt as their home venue for the encounter following as the African football governing body, CAF ban on Sierra Leone from hosting any international football still stands.
This will mark the third time in a year the two sides will be facing each other, the Ivorian’s defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 and 5-1 in 2015 Cup of Nations qualifiers with both matches played in Abidjan because of the Ebola virus.