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AFCON Qualifying: Sierra Leone ride good start to victory over São Tomé and Príncipe

Sierra Leone moved back within range of Group A rivals Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau on Sunday following a 2-0 victory over São Tomé and Príncipe in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. Abu Bakarr Samura and Alhassan Koroma scored within the opening half hour to get the Leone Stars back on track in their campaign after a shock 2-2 draw on Wednesday. Sierra Leone are one point back of second placed Nigeria and two points behind group leaders Guinea-Bissau.

After falling behind in their previous meeting earlier in the week, the Leone Stars were determined to start on the front foot and controlled play from the opening whistle. Samura opened the scoring in the 7th minute when a free kick service from out wide saw São Tomé goalkeeper Gilmar Tavinho fail to claim and he was out of position when the ball fell to Samura who volleyed in from eight yards out.

Koroma doubled the lead for Sierra Leone in the 28th minute when a cross was cleared out to the Linense midfielder, who chested the ball down and unleashed a strong shot that bounced through Gilmar on its way into the net. The match settled down after Koroma’s goal and São Tomé showed more adventure in the second half, but neither team looked particularly threatening as Sierra Leone held on comfortably for the three points.

Highlights from the match are below.

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