Afcon Qualifiers 2023: Sierra Leone Manager Eager for Super Eagles Challenge

Afcon Qualifiers 2023: Sierra Leone Manager Eager for Super Eagles Challenge
Credit: Icon Sport

Ahead of the clash between Sierra Leone and Nigeria in the AFCON qualifiers 2023 competition, manager of the Sierra Leone national team has come out to state that his team will not show any respect on the pitch to the Super Eagles.

Nigeria beat in their first meeting back in June 2022 at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja and they will be travelling to Liberia where Sierra Leone will be hosting them for the return leg.

A loss for the Nigeria national football team will delay their qualification until the last time against Sao Tome and Principe in September.

“We won't back down,” says Sierra Leone manager

Nigeria currently leads Group A after four games in the AFCON 2023 qualifiers fixtures. They have had three wins and one loss, with their upcoming opponents Sierra Leone being one of the wins.

The Leone Stars, meanwhile, are in their place with one win, one loss and two draws. To stand the chance of usurping Guinea-Bissau to second place, they will need to come away with a victory in their final two games, one of which is against the AFCON 2023 tournament favourites, Nigeria.

José Peseiro is finalising preparations for the trip to Liberia to meet with John Keister and his boys, and the hosts have sounded a note of warning to Peseiro that they will not be so welcoming come Sunday 18 June 2023 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex in Monrovia.

Keister, who was part of the last Sierra Leone team to beat the 2013 AFCON champions back in 2001, was speaking at a press conference when he made these comments. “I was part of the team in 2001 that defeated Nigeria 1-nil at home when no one expected anything from us,” he said.

“I have that feeling again with this group in regard to challenges like players being suspended, being injured or for personal reasons.

“You as a coach, you [have to] respect their position. But we can’t show them too much respect, and that’s football,” he said.

Peseiro names squad for Sierra Leone

Victor Osimhen and Alex Iwobi scored two comeback goals in 2022 to ensure Nigeria's victory in the reverse leg in June. Peseiro will be counting on his new team, made up of quite a number of top performers in Europe, to make things much easier this time around.

Italian Serie A champions and top scorer Victor Osimhen will be leading the line alongside captain Ahmed Musa and Villarreal starboy Samuel Chukwueze. Taiwo Awoniyi has been reinstated into the squad after his brilliant performances for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

Francis Uzoho misses out of the squad this time around due to suspension and is replaced by Adebayo Adeleye of Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel.

KAA Gent striker Gift Orban, despite the news of his potential inclusion, did not make the list. Union Saint-Gilloise striker Victor Boniface was also omitted as well.

The former Sporting CP manager included four home-based players in the team who will start converging from Saturday 10 June in Nigeria before they travel to Liberia during the coming week.

The Nigeria football news media is especially befuddled at Peseiro's snub of Gift Orban and will be looking forward to a statement from the Portuguese manager to that effect.

Goalball Live will bring you more information as it is unveiled.

This article was most recently revised and updated 12 months ago

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