Ports Authority, the country’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup have proved that they are capable of causing upset even with a depleted squad.
The atmosphere inside the Demba Diop stadium where Ports engaged their opponents, Toure Kunda Footpro was electrical as home fans watched their boys playing their first international match.
Ports started the match on a bright note in the opening exchanges with Striker Donald Wellington coming close to giving the visitors lead but the alert goal keeper, Ibrahima Diakhate kept out his rasping shot in the 12th minute.
Ports continued to dictate the pace of the match but it was not long before when the unthinkable, yet the wholly deserved opening goal arrived in the 32nd minute. Toure had a corner and it was half -taken by midfielder Moussa Konate who played a neat cross to Mamadou Thiam. Thaim cunningly squared the ball for Cheikh Samba who then made a perfect header to give the hosts the lead just before the break.
Coach Christian Cole made some technical changes in the second half of play with Morlai Sesay replacing the ineffective Abdul Rahman Kamara.
Celebration by the jubilant home fans was short-lived though, when five minutes later the visitors unlocked the Toure Kunda defence with their first major attack into the second half. Ports showed that they were not prepared to go down without a fight when Morlai picked up a loose ball just inside the Toure Kunda half and ran to the edge of the area before dislodging the onrushing goalkeeper to level the score.
Morlai could have even doubled the score line with a similar opportunity but sent the ball wide. With both teams entertaining the crowd on exhibiting free-flowing football, the Toure Kunda Footpro coach, Samino Sano will have been hugely relieved as his players burst forward in numbers to take the lead.
Midfielder Alieu Kargbo also had a clear opportunity to put the match beyond the hosts but also sent the ball wide. However the hosts were gifted with a last minute penalty which was scored by goal keeper Ibrahim Diakhate. Habib who was superb did make another brilliant save to deny the hosts a comfortable lead.
The second leg will be played in two weeks time at the National Stadium a single goal win for Ports Authority will see them to the next stage of the competition.
In the Africa champions league match which was played on the same day it was a big blow as Sierra Leone’s representative East End Lions lost two nil to their opponents Mali Djoliba of Mali which has put them in a difficult position to qualify.