An extra-time equalizer from Alhaji Kamara paved Sierra Leone the way to an unexpected draw against Cote d’Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). It’s their second point in Group E, after also drawing against title holders Algeria in their opening match at this year’s tournament. In 2022, Sierra Leone was welcomed at the AFCON after a 26-year absence.
Ajax striker Sebastien Haller opened the scoring to make it 1-0 to Cote d’Ivoire in the first half, before Musa Noah Kamara leveled the score at 1-1 10 minutes after the break. Arsenal’s Nicholas Pepe put Cote d’Ivoire ahead for a second time five minutes after the hour mark, then madness followed in stoppage time. Badra Ali Sangare, the Ivorian keeper, couldn’t catch an easy ball that was headed to him by a colleague, as he offered Sierra Leone the chance to get back into the game in the third added minute.
Sierra Leone left it late to grab an equalizer through Alhaji Kamara. Assist came from former England youths defender Steven Caulker, after a blunder from goalkeeper Ali Sangaré.@Kosi_foottalk@Steve_Labile@NuhuAdams_@NjieEnow@julietbawuah#AFCON2021 pic.twitter.com/m5qcsK9eEU
— Afeseh Apong© (@afesehapong) January 16, 2022
Sangare also got injured and coudn’t finish the match in goal, with Villarreal defender Serge Aurier making his way between the sticks in the dying moments of the clash.
In the 93rd minute, Ivory Coast keeper Badra Ali Sangaré suffered an injury while conceding the equalizer to Sierra Leone.
He had to be stretchered off, and captain Serge Aurier stepped in goal for the final minutes 🧤 pic.twitter.com/sr4ymFZmpW
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 16, 2022
AFCON: The odds clash
After two games played in Group E, Cote d’Ivoire leads the pack with four points. Equatorial Guinea shocked Algeria to end their 35-game unbeaten streak, as they came out 1-0 winners and climbed to second in the group on three points. Sierra Leone is now third on two points. Algeria is bottom with just one point and they look unlikely to repeat the 2019 triumph in Egypt.
They can still qualify for the knock-out stages, but a win against Cote d’Ivoire is mandatory on Thursday, when the two group favorites meet up. Algeria is at +130 for a win, with Cote d’Ivoire at +200 and a draw at +290.
Regarded as favorites to win AFCON before the competition started, Algeria has gone down to sixth in the bookies’ ranks. Senegal leads the odds’ race at +450, followed by the hosts in Cameroon at +500, Morocco at +550, Niveria at +600, Cote d’Ivoire at +700 and Algeria at +750.