10-man Leone Stars held on to draw away with Equatorial Guinea
By Mohamed Fajah Barrie in Freetown
Leone Stars draw away to Equatorial Guinea (Photo credit: Fred Claye)
Ten-man Leone Stars held on to draw 2-2 with Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea in a 2014 World qualifying match at the Malabo Stadium in Malabo on Saturday.
All the goals came in the first half as Juvenal
Owono gave Nzalang National the lead but had his goal cancelled by midfielder
Samuel Barlay before Turkey based Ibrahim Teteh Bangura puts Leone Stars in front
Juvenal Owono equalised before the break and had the chance to put Equatorial Guinea in front again early in the second but missed a penalty after the Leone Stars skipper Ibrahim Kargbo was sent off for handball in the penalty area.
Leone Stars remain second in group B behind leaders Tunisia who secured a 2-1 vital away victory over Cape Verde in Praia on Saturday to register maximum points from two games.
Overall Leone Stars put up a good performance but should have goalie Christian Caulker to thank for making several saves. The hosts had a better possession of the ball particularly in the second half.
Juvenal Owono opened the scores in the 14th minute when he finished up from the goal mouth a cross from the right. Eight minutes later Azebaijan based Samuel Barlay headed in a corner kick from the right taken by club team mate Sheriff Suma.
Leone Stars took control of the match took the lead 2-1 through striker Ibrahim Teteh Bangura who released a left-footed shot from the edge of the box after receiving a pass from the right from USA based Kei Kamara.
Few minutes to the break Nzalang Nacional won a free kick just outside the box and it was taken Juvenal whose shot hit the wall before finding the back of the net to level the score line to 2-2.
Equatorial Guinea took complete control of the second half but it came as no surprise as Leone Stars played with 10 men for nearly the entire half but they failed to capitalise on the numerical advantage.
A penalty was awarded to Nzalang Nacional seven minutes after the interval after the Leone Stars captain Ibrahim Kargbo was judged by the Chadian referee to have touched the ball with his hand in the box and was sent off. Juvenal Owono stepped up to score hat trick but
volleyed over the cross bar.
The host pressured the visitors but was frustrated in all their attempts to get a goal by the Leone Stars defence and goal keeper who made brilliant saves.
Celtic's Mohamed Bangura should have finished off the match in the final minute of stoppage time and it was Leone Stars only clear chance in the second half.
Substitute Mohamed Kallon cleared away from their own half and the ball was picked up by Bangura who ran in from the right wing but failed in his attempt to beat a defender in the box for the game to end 2-2.
Leone Stars now have four points from two games whilst Equatorial Guinea are in third position with one point out of two matches. Cape Verde are in the bottom of group B with no points from two games played.
Sierra Leone line-up: Christian Caulker (GK), Umaru Bangura, Sheriff Suma, Ibrahim Koroma, Ibrahim Kargbo (Capt), Mohamed Kamara, Kei Kamara, Samuel Barlay, Ibrahim Teteh Bangura (Khalifa Jabbie 68'), Alhassan Kamara (Mohamed Kallon 45'), Mohamed Bangura
Subs: Unisa Bangura (GK), Mohamed Fornah, Khalifa Jabbie, Julius Conteh, Mohamed Kallon, Alfree Conteh, Gibrilla Fofanah
Coach: Lars Olof Mattsson
Equatorial Guinea: Emmanuel Danilo, Rui Fernanado, Lawrence Doe, Ronan Falcao (Sipo 78'), David Alvarez, Juvenal Owono (Edjogo 78'), Juan Ndong, Rollan Cruz, Ivan Randy, Daniel Ekedo (David Garcia 86') and Thierry Fidjeu
Subs: Felipe Ovono, Yago Yao, Narcise Ekanga Amia, David Garcia, Ruben Epitie, Alberto E. Owono
Coach: Gilson Paulo
Ref: Cordier Adam, Issa Yaya, Abdulaye Kriga, 4th man Mahamat Tahir (all from Chad)
Referee Assessor from Togo- Lawson Late and Match Commissioner is from Mauritania- Massa Diarra