Leone Stars keeper Mohamed Nbalie Kamara
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Douala
Match: Sierra Leone Vs Equatorial Guinea
Venue: Omnisport Stadium in Limbe
Time: 17:00 (16:00 GMT)
Date: Thursday 20th January 2022
Leone Stars first choice goalkeeper Mohamed Nbalie Kamara says they’re ready to take on Equatorial Guinea in their Africa Cup of Nations final group E match in Limbe on Thursday.
The match will be played simultaneously with the other match of the group between Ivory Coast and Algeria at the Japoma stadium in Douala.
“We’re ready for Equatorial Guinea and we’ll give our best to get the needed result that can take us to round 16 by God’s grace,” Kamara told Sierra Leone Football.com before they departed Douala for Limbe.
He added: “We know it’s going be a tough game because they too will be prepared for us but by God’s grace we’ll go through.
Kamara has so far had a good tournament as he made several saves to keep a clean sheet against Algeria securing the man of the match award, and he also saved a penalty against Ivory Coast.
He’s expected to continue his fine form against the Nzalang Nacional as a win for Leone Stars will see them qualify for round-16 as group leaders or second placed team.
If they draw, and Algeria fail to defeat Ivory Coast, they’ll go through as one of the overall four best placed teams.
Sierra Leone will exit the tournament at the group stage if they draw or lose and Algeria win.
Leone Stars coach John Keister too insists that their encounter with Equatorial Guinea is a tough one.
“We have a very difficult match against Equatorial Guinea,” Coach Keister told Sierra Leone Football.com.
“I think what we have in this group is a lot of people who were looking at Ivory Coast and Algeria never thought about Equatorial Guinea.
“There are no pushovers anymore in football, you see the result from the Afcon even some of the big names are struggling.”
“We are going to go and have a good fight. For me this is a tournament about results and hopefully we can go out there and try and get the required result to take us through.
“So we’re looking forward to it. It’s better we came through the Ivory Coast game the way we played, it’ll give us a little bit more ideas going into this game.”
The former Sierra Leonean international also admits that his team were not in the best shape of form against Ivory Coast despite playing to a 2-2 draw, and that they need to improve.
“We were not very organised and I think we lost our shape a little bit more but we’ll work on that again to try to fix things,” he added.
Equatorial Guinea on the other hand are going to the match with a lot of confidence having defeated the defending champions Algeria 1-0.
The central African country needs at least a draw to be sure of reaching the last 16.
“We have a lot of confidence to win against Sierra Leone,” Jose Gonzalez who has a technical position in the Equatorial Guinea FA, told Sierra Leone Football.com.
“We know that Sierra Leone are a strong team but we’re going for a win and we’re looking forward to play the match.”
Leone Stars and Nzalang Nacional have locked horns six times before with the former wining four, losing one and drawing one.
The last time Sierra Leone won an away match was against Equatorial Guinea in Malabo in 2002.