Kabs Kanu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 January 2022:
Leone Stars were the toasts of Cameroun and the whole of Africa today after their scintillating, magnificent and stunning performance against Africa Champions Algeria, whom they came close to beating in their blockbuster opening match in the ongoing Africa Nations Cup competition.
The drama and fireworks-filled match at the Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroun, ended in a thrilling goalless draw, sending Sierra Leoneans all over the world into raptures of joy.
Though Algeria had the better of ball possession, they were not the better side and did not in any way outplay or outclass the brilliant, stubborn, and unyielding Leone Stars, who created many scoring opportunities of their own and striker Alhaji Kamara even swung a shot that smacked the crossbar and rebounded into play in the first half when Leone Stars proved really dangerous on the counter.
That Sierra Leone even had a goal disallowed for offside showed that Leone Stars had a great part in this match and were unlucky not to have won, done in by wild finishing in vantage positions.
Leone Stars’ form was very impressive. Always performing better against giant African teams, they went toe-to-toe with the outstanding Algerians whose squad was studded with famous soccer professionals from the big leagues in Europe.
They defended well, thanks to the excellent performance of a backline marshalled by former England defender Steven Caulker and goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara and when they attacked, it was with boldness and impudence as they refused to be awed by the overrated African Champions. They passed the ball brilliantly and confused the Algerian defence many times and if their finishing had not been erratic, Leone Stars would have sprung the biggest shock in African football in recent times.
Buya Turay, Alhaji Kamara. Kei Kamara, Kwame Quee , Sullay Kaikai , Bundu were ponderous in attack and the Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi could be seen on the touchline issuing furious instructions to his side as the underdogs threatened to break the long-unbeaten record of the Algerians .
When the Algerians unleashed waves of attacks on them, Leone Stars remained calm, confident and disciplined and repelled the Algerian offensive led by Manchester City’s Riyard Mahrez , Baghdad Bounedjah, Slimani, Fegouli and Yacine Brahimi who also found goalkeeper Kamara unbeatable.
(See stunning video of goalkeeper Kamara below)
It was an assured performance by the Leone Stars that portend of better things to come.
If Leone Stars play like this against the Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea, there is nothing that will stop them from qualifying from their group.
Algeria: M’Bolhi – Atal, Mandi, Bedrane, Bensebaini – Mahrez, Brahimi, Belkebla, Belaili – Slimani, Feghouli
Sierre Leone: Kamara – Kakay, Caulker, Bangura, Wright – Kamara, Quee – Buya Turay, Kamara, Bundu – Kamara