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‘My heart is filled with joy & tears’ – Kamara still celebrating Sierra Leone Afcon return

07:17 EAT 20/06/2021
Kei Kamara Vancouver Whitecaps MLS
The 36-year-old forward is still basking in the ecstasy of the Leone Stars’ qualification for the biennial African football showpiece

Kei Kamara seems not to have gotten over the excitement of Sierra Leone’s historic Africa Cup of Nations qualification, judging by his latest social media post.

John Keister’s men defeated Benin Republic 1-0 in the last Group L qualification fixture staged at the General Lansana Conte Stadium earlier this week, to qualify for the African football showpiece.

The former Sporting Kansas City and New England Revolution man was the Leone Star’s hero as his first-half penalty helped his team silence Michel Dussuyer’s Squirrels.

In the process, the West African country ended their 26-year Afcon hiatus, having last featured at South Africa 1996.

With this, the 36-year-old now stands a chance of featuring in the tournament before drawing the curtain on his career.

“So, I had to wait a few days to guarantee I wasn’t in bed dreaming,” Kamara wrote on Instagram.

“I have pinched myself few times to cross check. If you know how much I love Sierra Leone and football, then you will know my heart is filled with joy/tears and unselfish love for my teammates.

“Sierra Leone is going to Afcon 2022 in Cameroon after 25 years (sounds so good).

“My 12th year playing for this my national team and I just pray people tell me kids how much we went through to get here. I love you mama Salone.”

Tuesday’s crunch tie was initially billed for March 30 at the National Stadium, Freetown, however, it did not take place owing to a Covid-19 controversy.

Caf then moved the encounter to June 14, but the game did not take place as planned owing to another Covid controversy.

Finally, the game was postponed by another day and the result determined the last team to secure a place in Cameroon.

Also, each member of Keister's squad will pocket the sum of $10,000 in the coming days for qualifying for the competition, as promised by Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio.

In their previous Afcon finals, Roger Palmgren’s team crashed out in the preliminary round after failing to qualify from Group B that paraded Zambia, Algeria, and Burkina Faso.