Christian Dauda, the Team Manager of Leone Stars, has applauded the incredible performance put up by Sierra Leone’s senior national team, after the goalless draw with the Super Eagles of Nigeria in Freetown on Tuesday.
In the first leg encounter, in Benin City, the Stars of Lion Mountain came out from their halftime dressing room looking confident, despite trailing 4-1 after the halftime and went on to create one of the biggest upsets and also one of the greatest comebacks in African football, which saw the match ending in a 4-all draw.
After the first leg result, the President of the Nigeria Federation Football (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, described the 4-4 draw with John Keister’s men as the ‘worst result he has seen in his life’.
“I will say it the way it is in my heart and the hearts of so many Nigerians; the truth is that we can’t be leading 4-0 to Sierra Leone and concede four goals for no reason. There is no reason,” he told the team in their dressing room.
“Since I became the president of NFF, this is the worst result I have seen in my life and in the next few days, I wonder how I’m going to sleep,” Pinnick said, adding, “We must re-engineer this team, we must go to Freetown and we must beat them in Freetown by those four goals so that we would know truly that the Eagles have landed.”
With all the bluff, from the NNF’s President, the Nigerians were held to a goalless draw by Sierra Leone in Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture in Freetown.
The result at the National Stadium means the Super Eagles would have to wait to confirm their place at Cameroon 2022, though they remain at the summit of Group L with eight points after four matches and the result in the match between Benin and Lesotho means there is a possibility for Sierra Leone to qualify for the continental tournament.
Speaking to Night Watch Sport, Dauda said the Leone Stars have demonstrated that they have what it takes to end the nation’s 24-year hurting wait for participation in the continental event.
“I am very delighted with the dramatic comeback by the boys, taking into consideration going down 4-0 away to a powerhouse like Nigeria, later ended up drawing the match 4-4 in Nigeria and also the response from our boys here in Freetown shows that we have the talents and we are no longer underdogs as far as African football is concerned,” he said.
The Leone Stars Team Manager who have ensured that the national team and team officials not only properly dressed when traveling but also gives his massive motivation to the team, went further to hail the attitude of the Head Coach, John Keister, and his entire back room staff for such a marvelous job.
“Coach Keister has demonstrated that he is the right man for the team, because he is transitioning the team by blending the experienced old players and the new sensations of Sierra Leone players. This will take over the mantle of responsibility in the future,” Dauda stated.
“I believe that, with the total support given by the Government and the SLFA, there is a light in the tunnel for Sierra Leone football. Our boys have demonstrated that they are ready to sacrifice and with the performance against the Super Eagles of Nigeria, we can go ahead and win our remaining two games in the group,” the TM stressed.