Skipper Bangura scores for Leone Stars

By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in USA

An impressive Leone Stars side have defeated The Panthers of Gabon 1-0 in an international friendly match played in Freetown on Monday.

Skipper Umaru ‘Zingalay’ Bangura got the goal as he stepped up to convert a penalty spot kick in 13th minute to send the fans at the jam-packed Siaka Stevens Stadium to ecstasy.

The match was part of the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) group I qualifying schedule but didn’t count towards qualification as Gabon are hosting the finals in January.

It was a sweet revenge for Sierra Leone for the 2-1 defeat they suffered from Gabon in the first leg encounter in Franceville last Friday.

Gabon played without the African player of the year Piere Emerick-Aubameyang who didn’t travel with the team to Freetown .

They also didn’t start the game with six of the players who were in the starting line-up for the first leg.

Leone Stars had only China based Mohamed ‘Poborsky’ Bangura missing due to injury.

Sierra Leone and Gabon have now met six times with each winning all three games each hosted.

Sierra Leone remain bottom of group I in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers behind African Champions Ivory Coast and Sudan.

The team that finishes top of the group will qualify for the finals.

Previous meetings

22 Oct 1995 Gabon 1-0 Sierra Leone International friendly

11 Jan 1997 Sierra Leone 1-0 Gabon  FIFA World Cup qualifier

08 Jun 1997 Gabon Vs Sierra Leone  FIFA  World Cup qualifier (Cancelled)

12 Oct 2002 Sierra Leone 2-0 Gabon  Africa Cup of Nations qualifier

06 Jul 2003 Gabon 2-0 Sierra Leone   Africa Cup of Nations qualifier

25 Mar 2016 Gabon 2-1 Sierra Leone International friendly

28 March 2016 Sierra Leone 1-0 Gabon International friendly


Leone Stars starting line-up:

Solomon Zombo Morris (GK), Umaru Bangura (Capt), David Simbo, Abu Kanu, Yeami Dunia, Mohamed Kamara, Abdul Sesay, Kwame Quee, George Davies, Mustapha Bangura, Sheka Fofanah

Coach Sellas Tetteh (Ghanaian)

The Panthers starting line-up:

Mfa Mezui Anthony (GK), Evouna Malick (Capt), Oto’o Zue Randal Junior, Ondele Appindangye Aaron Christopher, Ndong Henri Junior, Koumba Abdoulaye Tandjigora, Madinda Levy-Clement, Samson Mbingui, Lengounalama B. Johan, Ze Ondo Benjamin, Lemina Mario Rene Junior

Coach: Jorge Costa (Portuguese)