Algeria’s forward Sofiane Feghouli (L) fights for the ball with Sierra Leone’s midfielder John Kamara during the first half. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Douala
Ivory Coast coach Patrice Beaumelle insists he’s not surprised that Sierra Leone fought hard to hold reigning African champions Algeria to a goalless tie in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Leone Stars went into the match as the underdogs and many analysts had written them off before the group E encounter played at the Japoma stadium on Tuesday.
Reacting to a question after Ivory Coast’s 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea, Coach Beaumelle said: “The Algeria-Sierra Leone match was a good match and I’m not surprised by Sierra Leone’s performance because they’re a good side.”
“I’ve seen them playing as we played against them twice before in Abidjan.”
“The journalists like to give predictions, they predicted before the match but I know Sierra Leone is a good team.”
The Frenchman was assistant coach to Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations winning manager Herve Renard when The Elephants met Leone Stars twice in Abidjan in Nations cup qualifiers in 2014.
The two teams face each other again in Douala on Sunday.
Ivory Coast currently top group E with three points after the first round of matches followed by Sierra Leone and Algeria with a point each, and Equatorial Guinea who are without a point lie bottom.