The Sierra Leone national side, Leone Stars, will on Saturday engage their Ivorian counterparts, the `Elephant`, in the 2015 African Cup of Nations at Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium. In their last meeting in that country, Leone Stars were beaten 2-0.
However, Coach Johnny Mckinstry has some good news as Notts County defender Mustapha Dumbuya, Alhassan Crespo Kamara, Mohamed `Medo` Kamara, George `Kweku` Davies and Alhaji `Adriano` Kamara will be available for selection after they missed-out on the country`s three previous matches away from home.
Portugal based defender Ibrahim `Obrey` Kargbo, Christian Caulker, Ibrahim `Marcel Koroma and Samuel Barlay will all miss out through suspension while Finish based goal keeper Patrick Bantamoi pulled out for unavoidable circumstance. Genoa midfielder, Rodney Strasser will also miss-out through injury.
Speaking to this press ahead of the match, ASA Charge goal keeper John Trye said he is optimistic they would edge the host in Saturday`s clash.
"Even though it will be a difficult match especially playing away from home, yet we've got great chances at our disposal to progress to the final stage of the qualifiers,” he assured.
“On paper, Ivory Coast are the favorite, but we are going out there to prove our critics wrong. We are physically & mentally focus. Winning Saturday`s match will heal the wounds of fellow Sierra Leoneans who have been affected by the deadly Ebola epidemic in our country.
England based defender, Aziz Deen Conteh, may make his international debut for Sierra Leone against Tunisia on Saturday as David Simbo, Abu Tommy and John Kamara have all been ruled out as a result of late invitations.
Canadian based defender Mallan Roberts will hope to make his debut for the national team.
Head to Head
This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides. Ivory Coast have an edge over Sierra Leone, having won all three of their previous matches away from home. Leone Stars have failed to score on against the Elephant having conceded seven.
1994 African Cup of Nations tournament
27th March 1994- Ivory Coast 4-0 Sierra Leone
1974 World Cup qualifiers
29th October 1972 Ivory Coast 2-0 Sierra Leone
15th November 1972 Sierra Leone 0-1 Ivory Coast
Goal Keepers: Solomon Zombo (US Quevily, France), John Trye (ASA Charge, USA)
Defenders: Sheriff Suma (Syrianska, Sweden), (Captain) Umaru Bangura (Dynamo Minsk, Belarus), David Simbo (Al Hilal, Sudan), Mohamed Kamanor (UEMA, Sweden), Mustapha Dumbuya (Notts County, England), Mallan Roberts (FC Edmonton, Canada), Abdul Rahman Bangura (Atlanta Silverbacks, USA)
Midfilders: Mohamed Kamara (Bolton, England), Michael Lahoud (Philadelphia Union, USA), Julius Woobay (Neftchi Baku, Azerbaijan), Alfred Sankoh (Khazar Lankaran, Azerbaijan), Khalifa Jabbie (Balikesirispor, Turkey), Ibrahim Kallay (Lulea, Sweden)
Strikers: Albert Kargbo (Friskaviljor, Sweden), Alhaji `Adriano` Kamara (Noorkoping, Sweden), Alhassan Kamara (Orebo, Sweden), George Davies (Germany), Kei Kamara (Unattached)
Head Coach: Johnathan McKinstry (Irish, based in England)
Assistant Coach: Thomas Harris (English, based in the USA)
Compiled by Martin Wusha Conteh in Freetown