Sierra Leone have booked their place at the African Cup of Nations tournament billed for Cameroon next year following a 1-0 victory over Benin Republic on Tuesday.
Kei Kamara’s first-half penalty was enough for the Leone Stars to defeat the Squirrels in the last Group L qualification fixture.
Although, the Squirrels needed just a draw to progress as they fought strong against the hosts – who needed just a 1-0 win.
With this result, Sierra Leone have ended their 26-year Africa Cup of Nations wait. Their last outing was at the 1996 edition staged in South Africa.
There, they crashed out of the preliminary round after failing to qualify from Group B that paraded Zambia, Algeria and Burkina Faso.
Leone Stars coach, John Keister had expressed optimism ahead of the encounter, insisting there was no pressure within his squad.
“There is no pressure. Our ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, and there is no discomfort within our squad,” Keister told Caf website.
“This squad is a blend of both young and experienced players; I’ve rationally selected 11 local and 15 foreign-based players.
“Thankfully, despite the numerous challenges, we succeeded to arrange a camp and let our players train together in Freetown since last Monday.
“What I need now is support from our fans at home and abroad. Already there is a huge willingness among the players and the whole nation wants us to qualify.
“So, I’m on to guide the team to get the best result against Benin and proceed to Cameroon next year.”