Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In preparation for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), Ivory Coast is set to host Sierra Leone in a crucial international friendly match at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro tomorrow, Saturday, January 6, 2024.
The Ivory Coast national team aims to fine-tune their strategies ahead of the Afcon, which commences on January 13, 2024, at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan. Sierra Leone, although not qualifying for the upcoming Afcon, views this friendly as a valuable opportunity to continue preparations for the World Cup qualifiers scheduled for June this year.
The Sierra Leone delegation, led by the Senior National Home-Based Team Manager, Alhaji Umaru, departed from Freetown on Thursday, December 4, 2023, for the international encounter.
As the hosts of the 2023 Afcon, Ivory Coast enters the match with high expectations, looking to make a strong bid for their third title. Head Coach Jean-Louis Gasset plans to use this friendly as a warm-up for their tournament opener against Guinea Bissau.
The upcoming clash marks the 10th meeting between the two sides, with Ivory Coast holding six victories and three matches ending in a draw. Notably, their most recent encounter resulted in a 2-2 draw during the group stage of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Sierra Leone, having won just one of their last six games with three losses, will be eager to make an impact.
Ivory Coast boasts a current six-game unbeaten streak, winning and drawing three games each. Five of their last seven matches witnessed one side failing to find the back of the net. Sierra Leone’s recent form indicates that their last four games produced fewer than three goals.
Football enthusiasts await the outcome of this friendly, anticipating a thrilling spectacle between the two nations on the pitch. BT/5/1/2024