By Amaechi Agbo
Sierra Leone are back to Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON after 26 years of absence following their victory over Benin Republic on Tuesday, Bestchoiceaports.com.ng can report.
The Leone Stars became the 24th and last team to qualify for the AFCON slated for Cameroon in January next year after they won their last Group L match against Benin Republic
They returned to the continent’s flagship competition for the first time since their second participation in South Africa 1996.
Sierra Leone defeated Benin 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon in a rescheduled game that took place at the General Lassana Conte Stadium in Conakry, Guinea.
The Leone Stars finished second in Group L with seven points behind leaders Nigeria (14 points).
Benin had the same number of points (seven) and both sides had the same head-to-head results (each winning 1-0 at home), but Sierra Leone qualified on better goal difference (0 compared to Benin -1).
Key Ansu Kamara scored the game’s lone goal from the spot after 18 minutes to give Sierra Leone a vital lead that they kept till the final whistle.
Coach John Kiester men celebrated their qualification after 26 years of absence, while Michel Dussuyer’s Benin who reached the quarterfinals in the 2019 edition in Egypt were left ruing their missed chance.
The 33rd edition of the tournament is scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon, and will take place from 9 January to 6 February 2022.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021 but the CAF announced on 15 January 2020 that due to unfavourable climatic conditions during this period 9f Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament would take place from 9 January to 6 February 2021.