Leone Stars look to seal group phase spot

Leone Stars look to seal group phase spot
Sierra Leone's defender Umaru Bangura

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 31, 2014. 10:23

Sierra Leone will look to seal a place in the group phase of 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying when they take on hosts Seychelles in a second round, second leg match at Stade Linite in Victoria on Saturday(kick-off 18:30 CAT).

The Leone Stars won the first leg on July 19 in Freetown 2-0, with Khalifa Jabbie and Umaru Bangura netting the goals. The result leaves the West Africans in prime position to advance through to the group phase.

However, coach Johnny McKinstry will be missing several important players, as the date for the match falls outside of an official FIFA window, meaning clubs are not obligated to release their players for national duty.

Striker Alhaji Kamara, who plies his trade in Sweden for IFK Norrkoping, is just one player who has informed the Sierra Leone FA that he will be unavailable due to club commitments.

“I love representing my country and I wanted to contribute, but on this occasion my club is not letting me, the date is not an official FIFA date,” the Norrkoping striker said.

In addition, Christian Caulker and Ibrahim Marcel Koroma are not available due to suspension. They are amongst 15 individuals suspended for a match-fixing allegation by the Sport Ministry and Sierra Leone FA.

Somalian referee Wiish Yabarow will take charge of this second round match. The winner of the tie advances to join Ivory Coast, Cameroon and DR Congo in Group D in the final phase of qualification.

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