Sierra Leone snatch a point against wasteful Ivory Coast

Sinan Rajab SENOGA

Ivory Coast 2-2 Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone continued with their spirited performance as they held Ivory Coast to a 2-2 draw in a Group F encounter played in Douala.

Alhaji Kamara scored a 90th minute equalizer for the Leone Stars following a howler by Ivorian goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare.

Ivory Coast will put blame on themselves having failed to kill off the game with a number of wasted goal scoring chances.

10 minutes into the game, Ivory Coast were awarded a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was brought down in the box.

Franck Kessie stepped up to convert but his penalty was saved by goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara who remains as one of the most outstanding performers of the tournament.

Kamara pulled a number of saves before Sebastien Haller finally beat him with an easy finish from a Zaha assist in the 25th minute.

Sierra Leone fought back and equalized in the 55th minute through Musa Kamara who brilliantly beat the Ivorian defense before sending a sublime shot into the net.

10 minutes later, Arsenal’s Nicholas Pepe restored Ivory Coast’s lead with a low drive .

The Elephants had opportunities to put the game beyond but instead failed to put them away. Substitutes Christian Kouame and Hamed Junior Traore were the major culprits.

The moment of madness came in the added three minutes when goalkeeper Sangare failed to tame a back pass header from Odilon Koussounou and put the ball in Steven Caulker’s way who passed to ball to Alhaji Kamara to smash home the equalizer.

Sangare got injured in the process and was subsequently replaced by skipper Serge Aurier who took up the gloves since they had exhausted all their five substitutes.

Ivory Coast remain top of the table despite missing a glorious opportunity to confirm their place in the next stage. They will face Algeria in final game.

Sierra Leone are third with two points and will face Equatorial Guinea in a do or die contest in the final group game.

Ivory Coast XI; Badra Ali Sangare (GK), Serge Aurier (C), Eric Bertrand Bailly, Simon Deli, Ghislain Konan, Jean Michael Seri, Ibrahim Sangare, Franck Yannick Kessie, Nicolas Pepe, Wilfried Zaha, Sebastien Haller

Sierra Leone XI; Mohamed Kamara (GK), Osman Kakay, Steven Caulker, Umaru Bangura (C), Kevin Wright, John Kamara, Kwame Quee, Kei Kamara, Musa Tombo Kamara, Mustapha Bundu, Mohamed Buya Turay

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