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Soccer News of Friday, 6 May 2022

Source: punchng.com

AFCON: Leone Stars captain admits tough clash against Super Eagles

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New Sierra Leone captain, Stephen Caulker, says playing Nigeria in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers will be tough, as they seek to qualify for a second consecutive AFCON.

The Leone Stars are paired alongside Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe/Mauritius in Group A of the qualifiers, with only the top two teams qualifying for the continental showpiece in Ivory Coast from June 23 to July 23, 2023.

The Leone Stars open their qualifiers against Nigeria at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja in June and the former Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers defender believes the tie will be one of their most difficult.

“Our qualifying group is going to be tough, obviously Nigeria will be looking to bounce back from their disappointment following their elimination to Ghana in the 2022 World Cup,” Caulker told CAFonline.

“We have to be at our best for every game and against Nigeria is an opportunity to put Sierra Leone on the world football map. I’m sure like we did in the last AFCON, we have to be at our best for all games, not just against Nigeria, we should go into every game with the ambition to win it.

“It would be difficult but I’m excited to start these qualifiers, we have a lot of new talents, new players, a new system and a new identity. I am really delighted to be able to lead this group in qualifying,” Caulker added.