African champions, Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire could only hold Leone Stars of Sierra Leone to a 0-0 draw in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Nigeria’s city of Port Harcourt.
There was little to choose between the two teams on a weekend of shocking results in the race to Gabon 2017. The Sierra Leoneans held tight to their rear and gave as much as they got in the attack from the Ivorians.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Elephants, who edged Ghana’s Black Stars to win their second African title in Equatorial Guinea early this year, struggled to contain their highly motivated and determined opponents, who fought hard to garner the three points.
The Elephants’ star man and reigning African Player of the Year, Yaya Toure was not at the game, as well as a couple of other Ivorian African champions.
However, the interesting match watched by a relatively impressive crowd at the Adokiye Amiesiemaka Stadium in Port Harcourt was watched by Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, as well as NFF President Amaju Pinnick, former NFF President Aminu Maigari, NFF Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, NFF Executive Committee members Emeka Inyama, Sunday Dele-Ajayi and Sharif Inuwa, some members of NFF Management, as well as Super Eagles’ Coach Sunday Oliseh, all players of the Super Eagles to Saturday’s match in Tanzania and Super Eagles’ technical and administrative officials.
Nigeria offered to host the match because CAF has yet to restore Sierra Leone’s right to stage matches at home, as a fall-out of the ebola pandemic that swept through some West African nations last year.
In their first match, the Elephants drew 0-0 with Gabon, who have nothing at stake in the group having already qualified automatically as hosts. Sierra Leone lost 0-2 to Sudan in Khartoum.