Shooting Stars face difficult task in Banjul
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown
Shooting Stars head coach Charlie Wright believes they will eliminate the Darling Scorpions of The Gambia from the qualifiers of 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations when two teams meet in the first round return leg match at Bakau Independent stadium in Banjul on Saturday.
But Coach Wright and his boys face a difficult task as they need to overturn a 2-0 deficit they suffered in the first leg at home three weeks ago.
The winner of the two legs will advance to the second round stage of the qualifiers.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll overturn the result in Banjul in our favour to knock out The Gambia,” Coach Wright told Sierra Leone Football.com.
“I have beefed up my squad with seven new players and i hope the team will deliver.”
“Gambia scored two goals in Sierra Leone, so it’s possible that we score three in Banjul and i’m confident that we’ll do it.”
“Real Madrid did it against Wolfsburg recently in the Uefa Champions League. We need Sierra Leoneans to pray for us for victory.
Seven of the players who were part of the Shooting Stars squad in the first leg in Makeni didn’t make the trip to Banjul.
Five of them were in the starting line-up.
Their replacements are Sulaiman Jalloh, Lahai Kallon, Mustapha Kamara, Abdulai Keita Bangura, Gibrilla Kamara, Joseph Kamara and Sheka Fofanah who scored for Leone Stars against Gabon last month.
The Darling Scorpions on the other hand are clear favourite to win and are expected to largely maintain the squad they used in the first leg.
History favours the Darling Scorpions as they eliminated Shooting Stars in the qualifiers of 2011 edition of the same competition.
Shooting Stars squad:
Goal Keepers: Peter Sesay (Wusum Stars), John Fillie (Craig Bellamy Foundation)
Defenders: Musa Kamara (FC Johansen), Abdul K Kamara (FC Kallon), Mohamed Sowa (Real Mark), Mustapha Kamara (East End Lions), Lahai Kallon (Ports Authority FC), Sayoh Dengeh Jalloh (Pa Saffa FC)
Midfielders: Sulaiman Jalloh (Mighty Blackpool), Abdulai Keita Bangura (FC Johansen), David Bangura (FC Johansen), Gibril S. Kamara (Mighty Blackpool), Mohamed Sesay (Wusum Stars), Joseph Kamara (FC Kallon)
Forwards: Ahmed Vandy (Kamboi Eagles), Ibrahim Shuhab Kanu (Based in Belgium), Gibrilla Kamara (Kallon FC), Sheka Fofanah (Freetown City FC)
Coach: Charlie Wright