By Bouddih Adams
Unlike the three biblical Wise Men who were led by a star to where the God Man was born, the Sierra-Leonean national football squad, aka the Leone Stars saw stars of defeat at their Thursday evening encounter against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
The Leone Stars of this West African nation were decently beaten by two goals to nil apparently as a punishment for stubbornly daring Lions in an earlier away encounter by holding them to a nil-nil draw. The match counted for the return leg qualifiers for the 2015 African Cup of Nations 2015 in Morocco.
The Lions opened scores barely five minutes after kick-off, when attacker, Lionel Kwekeu, transformed a pass from Bedimo with his head into a goal.
Barely two minutes afterwards, full defence man, Stephane Etoundi Mbia, ran up front and translated a cross from Benjamin Moukanjo into a header that found the back of the net.
The Lions, thereafter, put up a more determined show than during the away leg in the same Yaounde Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, four days earlier.
Five minutes into the second half, Eric Maxim Tchoupo-Moting came close to making a goal when he zapped through the Leone Stars defence and fired a shot that the Leone keeper failed to stop and the ball rolled towards the goalpost, but for a timely intervention by a defence man for that side, who cleared it just at the goal mouth.
The Lions’ new found goal poacher, Clinton Njie, as Super Sports commentators observed, played more on the defensive side this time around, by rather tracking behind and trying to supply Kwekeu. He was substituted at the 62nd minute with Edgar Salli.
The second half was uninspiring and even supporters’ horns that were blasting in the first half, died down. Both sides played lackadaisically until full time.
Cameroon will confront Ivory Coast in Abidjan and will host the Democratic Republic of Congo in Yaounde in the last day of play.
The match counted for the third playing day in the ongoing 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
In prelude to the Saturday, October 11, soccer duel, many soccer pundits in Cameroon and supporters of the Indomitable Lions, had predicted an easy ride over their opponents, given the litany of problems plaguing Sierra Leone.
In the wake of their 2015 AFCON qualifiers, the Confederation of African Football, CAF barred Sierra Leone from hosting any competitive match in their country, due to the raving Ebola Virus that has claimed thousands of lives in that country. As a consequence, the Leone Stars forfeited their most needed home support as they had to play their matches in a foreign land and out of the comfort zone of their homeland.