Darren Christie of Swaziland ©Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix
Thursday May 15, 2014. 11:03
Swaziland and Sierra Leone meet for the first time in their history when they clash in the first leg of their first round 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Mbabane on Sunday
Both have come close in recent years to reaching the Nations Cup finals, especially Sierra Leone in 2012, but have fallen just short.
Swaziland warmed up for the fixture with a 4-1 away win over an admittedly inexperienced Botswana side last weekend, but recent underachievement they will hope that better things are just around the corner.
The artificial pitch in Mbabane will suit the home side, who need to get a big first leg advantage with the return to come in Freetown where the Leone Stars don’t lose very often.
The West African side, led by 28-year-old Northern Irish coach Johnny McKinstry, the youngest in Africa at the moment, have seen their results improve in his tenure.
They held North African giants Tunisia to a draw in the World Cup qualifiers last year and also beat Equatorial Guinea.
The Leone Stars have the greater quality and will have most of their overseas-based stars in attendance. Swaziland’s squad is made up almost entirely of home-based players.