Leone Stars under new Ghanaian coach Sellas Teteh have held reigning African Champions Ivory Coast to a goalless draw in a 2017 African Cup of Nations group I qualifying match played in the Nigerian city of Port Harcourt on Sunday.
It’s the best result Leone Stars have so far recorded in their overall seventh meeting with the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
Leone Stars didn’t host the match in their country and instead took to Port Harcourt because Sierra Leone are still banned by Africa’s football governing body, CAF from hosting international football due to ebola outbreak.
Sweden based Mohamed ‘Poborsky’ Bangura should have given Leone Stars an early lead as he shot wide from the box.
Goalie Solomon Zombo Morris who plays in France made several saves to deny French coach Michael Dussuyer victory in his first match in charge of the Elephants.
Ivory Coast played without several key players such as their skipper and four times in a row African player of the year Yayah Toure, his club team-mate at Manchester City Wilfred Bony and Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote.
AS Roma’s Gervinho stepped in as captain. Finland based Abu Sesay nicknamed ‘Buduski’ featured in the match to make his first appearance for Leone Stars ‘A’ team.
The result doesn’t change the standings in group I despite Leone Stars and Ivory Coast having one point each.
The latter are second on goal different with one match played while the former remain bottom with no goal scored and have conceded one goal from two games.
Sudan who were thrashed by Hosts Gabon 4-0 in a friendly international remain top of the group with maximum points from one match.
Only the top team in the group at the end of the qualifiers will quality for the finals.
Leone Stars line-up:
Solomon Zombo Morris (GK)
Umaru Bangura (Captain)
Mohamed ‘Medo’ Kamara
Coach: Sellas Tetteh
Lansana Kamara for Quee 71′
Christian Moses for Sesay 90+3′
Subs not used
Unisa Koroma (GK)