Soccer-Howler gifts Sierra Leone late equaliser against Ivory Coast

Soccer Football - Africa Cup of Nations - Group E - Ivory Coast v Sierra Leone - Stade de Japoma, Douala, Cameroon - January 16, 2022 Sierra Leone's Mohamed Buya Turay in action with Ivory Coast's Serge Aurier REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

DOUALA, Cameroon (Reuters) - A goalkeeping howler handed Sierra Leone a dramatic last-gasp equaliser that secured a 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast in their Africa Cup of Nations Group E clash on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare lost control of the ball and spilt it for Sierra Leone's Alhaji Kamara to snatch a 95th-minute goal as they grabbed their second point of the tournament after holding defending champions Algeria 0-0 last week.

Ivory Coast now have four points while Sierra Leone are on two with Algeria to take on Equatorial Guinea in Sunday’s second Group E match at the Japoma Stadium.

Sebastien Haller scored first to put Ivory Coast ahead at halftime but 21-year-old Musa Kamara equalised for Sierra Leone before Nicolas Pepe restored the Ivorians’ lead.

They looked to be heading for a deserved win when Sangare somehow managed to lose control of the ball, allowing Steven Caulker to feed Alhaji Kamara.

Yet the substitute striker was stumbling as he tried to get to the pass before making contact and steering it home to set off frenzied celebrations.

It was a superb result for the Leone Stars, returning to the finals for the first time in 26 years.

“Best of all is the spirit we have shown. Just to be here is a win for us,” said coach John Keister.

The Ivorians squandered an early penalty opportunity as Wilfried Zaha was brought down in the 12th minute by a clumsy challenge from Sierra Leone captain Umaru Bangura, offering Frank Kessie the opportunity to put them ahead from the spot.

Yet his kick was saved by Mohamed Kamara, who had a man of the match performance in Sierra Leone’s previous game against Algeria.

Haller's opener arrived in the 25th minute and was set up by a defence-splitting pass from Zaha before being expertly converted, earning the Ivorians a halftime lead.

Sierra Leone made full use of rare second-half opportunity to snatch an equaliser with a powerful 55th minute shot from Musa Kamara.

The Ivorians re-established their superiority when Ibrahim Sangare fed Pepe, whose strike from the right gave the goalkeeper no chance.

Ivorian woes at the end were exacerbated by Eric Bailly going off with what appeared to be a cut to the head while Sangare was taken off on a stretcher after his howler, leaving the Ivorians with a possible goalkeeping crisis for their last group match on Thursday against Algeria.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Soccer-Chelsea set to finish third after Leicester draw
Soccer-Calvert-Lewin secures Everton survival in epic win over Palace
Soccer-Landmark U.S. pay deal may inspire sponsors too
Soccer-Real Madrid sign 360 million euro Bernabeu deal with Sixth Street
SEA Games: Malaysia lose 0-1 to Vietnam in football semi-finals
Soccer-Giroud omitted from France Nations League squad
Soccer-Milan on brink of title as Inter hope to spring final-day surprise
Soccer-Forest fan jailed for head-butting Sheffield Utd skipper Sharp
Soccer-Qatar World Cup to feature female referees in first for tournament
Soccer-Tottenham Women forward Ubogagu handed nine-month suspension for anti-doping violation

Others Also Read