Sierra Leone coach John Keister has hailed his side’s 4-4 draw against Nigeria in Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game.
The Leone Stars fought back from a 4-0 down to secure a crucial draw against the three-time African champions at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Rodney Strasser and Alhaji Kamara, who bagged two goals in the game, were introduced into the match in the second half.
Keister has praised the contributions of his substitutes and explained why his side fell behind in the first half.
“It’s a good result away from home especially coming into Nigeria which we knew was going to be very difficult, we’re really happy,” Kester told Punch.
“We had a lot of respect for them in the first half. We showed them a lot of respect and that was why we had to come out and that was why we came out in the second half.
“The difference was the changes that we made. We got some players we left out in the first half and we were trying to work around the players we have, obviously, it didn’t work out so we had to make the change.
“I’m not disappointed we didn’t win the match. We can’t be too greedy. We’ll take the draw, we’re going home to Freetown. I think it was a game of two halves.”
Sierra Leone defender Kevin Wright admitted his side started the game on an unimpressive note but he is pleased they improved on their performance in the second half.
“I think it was an interesting game, we had a sloppy first half but obviously the boys that came on did well and we brought the game back,” he continued.
“I am disappointed we didn’t win the game, obviously if we had a better first half, we could have gotten a win but I think we’re happy with the result and we’re looking forward to the second leg in Freetown.
“I don’t think Nigeria underrated us but in the second half we upped our game, we attacked much more.”
The reverse fixture will take place on Tuesday in Freetown and victory for the Leone Stars would brighten their chances of qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.