Sierra Leone National Team

Khalifa Jabbie scores to put the Leone Stars 1-nil ahead [Leone Stars v Seychelles, Freetown, 19 July 2014 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]

Sierra Leone defeat Seychelles 2-0 in the 1st leg of their 3rd round AFCON Qualifier (19 July 2014)

The Seychelles pull down Sheriff Suma, conceding a penalty [Leone Stars v Seychelles, Freetown, 19 July 2014 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]In a game where the Leone Stars dominated, the Seychelles began with a very defensive approach.  In the first half, the seychelles keeper performed well, making a number of saves from both direct shots and crosses.

In the second half the Leone Stars increased the pressure and Khalifa Jabbie opened the scoring (see main picture) early in the second half with a close range strike to record his first goal for the Leone Stars.

The Leone Stars continued their attack and it was not long before Sheriff Suma was pulled down in the box (see picture) as he sought to drive towards the goal. Captain Umaru 'Zingalay' Bangura took the penalty (see picture) and scored his second goal for the Leone Stars.

Captain Umaru 'Zingalay' Bangura converts the penalty (72 min) to put the Leone Stars 2-0 ahead [Leone Stars v Seychelles, Freetown, 19 July 2014 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]Kei Kamara was unfortunate not to score with a header which had beaten the keeper and defence but bounced up over the crossbar. Moments later he was unlucky again when his overhead kick was narrowly saved.

Coach McKinstry continued to showcase new talent, giving 3 further debuts - Mohamed Kamanor [UMEA, Sweden]; Abdul Rahman Bangura [Atlanta Silverbacks, USA]; and Kwame Quee [FC Johansen, Sierra Leone].

The game finished 2-0 to the Leone Stars, who now face the Seychelles in the away tie in 2 weeks (2 August)


Interview with Coach McKinstry

Asked about his overall view of the game, the Coach said

"A 2-nil score line at the end of the game is what we wanted... coming into the game - keeping a clean sheet and putting a two or three goals margin between us and our opponents.   Overall the game was largely pleasing... the players showed a lot of patience against a very stubborn opponent in the Seychelles who did sit very deep in the game.. and eventually the goals came - we knew that would happen.   We changed one or two things at half time.

Overall, I am very pleased with the performance and the result."

Abdul Rahman Bangura (Atlanta Silverbacks, USA) makes his debut for the Leone Stars [Leone Stars v Seychelles, Freetown, 19 July 2014 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]Asked about what contributed to the victory, Coach McKinstry reflected on the range of talent now available to draw upon:

"Part of what made the result very pleasing was that once again we were able to bring in a few new additions to the team in Mohamed Kamanor, Abdul Rahman Bangura, and Kwame Quee - all making their debuts this afternoon as part of the 2-0 victory.  Across the three of them we have once again seen players who can help take the Leone Stars forward in a wider sense with the group that we now have and continue to develop. They fit into our style very well..

I'm very pleased with them, very pleased with the players that have been around for a few games now, as well as the more senior professionals... Overall, an excellent performance across the board."

On next steps and the upcoming return leg (away) Coach McKinstry said:

"In two weeks time we travel to Seychelles for the second leg. Obviously a 2-nil score line today is a big step in the right direction but we know that any opponent can be dangerous. We travel there, going to play in their home stadium in front of their home fans and we know that will be difficult.

However we believe that the scoreline today has put us in a strong position and we go there looking to win that game and to seal the tie that will take us into the group stages"

Mohamed Kamanor making his debut (UMEA, Sweden) passes to Abdulai Baggie [Leone Stars v Seychelles, Freetown, 19 July 2014 (Pic: Darren McKinstry)]On what the victory meant to him personally, he said:

"Since coming is as Head Coach of Sierra Leone around 15 months ago, I have tried to implement a number of changes - including a change in philosophy.

We are really starting to see that take hold... winning becomes habit and in our last 3 games we have put together 3 victories and a draw. That gives the players confidence, it gives the staff confidence and gives the whole nation a lift.

We look to continue taking forward our philosophy and our game plan and we home and know that will take us onto greater heights."


See the Video Interview:

[Video interview will follow soon.]



Match Squad


  • Solomon Zombo Morris (US Quevily, France);
  • Umaru Bangura (Dynamo Minsk, Belarus);
  • David Simbo (Al Hilal, Sudan);
  • Abdul Rahman Bangura (Atlanta Silverbacks, USA);
  • Sheriff Suma (Syrianska, Sweden)
  • Mohamed Kamanor (UMEA, Sweden);
  • Khalifa Jabbie (Balikesirspor, Turkey);
  • Alfred Sankoh (Khazar Lankaran FK, Azerbaijan);
  • Abdulai Baggie (Tranmere Rovers, England);
  • Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough, England);
  • Ibrahim Teteh Bangura (AIK, Sweden);



  • Ibrahim Kallay (Lulea, Sweden);
  • Abdulai Bah (Mighty Blackpool, Sierra Leone)
  • Ibrahim 'Soja' Kamara (FC Johansen, Sierra Leone);
  • Kwame Quee (FC Johansen, Sierra Leone);
  • Khomson Kamara (Bahrain)
  • Paul Kabba Tucker (Anti-Drug Strikers, Sierra Leone)
  • Sulaiman Fullah Sesay (ETAR 1924, Bulgaria).



NEXT round of AFCON 2015 Qualifiers

The Leone Stars will play the Seychelles in the away leg on Saturday 2 August 2014.




Match Highlights 

You can click any of the pictures below to see a full screen version of the picture.  You can then also choose to click the play arrow to watch a slide show of all images.

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Notes to Editors

  1. The game is the first game (home leg) in the third round qualifier against Seychelles on 19 July 2014 as part of AFCON 2015.  
  2. You can read more about the AFCON 2015 tournament and the Leone Stars fixtures.
  3. Johnny McKinstry was appointed Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team on 11th April 2013.  You can read more about his time in charge of the Leone Stars
  4. See for a range of information - biography, press releases and photographs for press use.
  5. To arrange an email or telephone interview, please contact 


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About Coach McKinstry

Coach McKinstry is a UEFA Pro Licensed Football Coach, with a number of successes across his 20+ year career to date.    He is currently Head Coach of the Gambia National Team and Head Coach of Gor Mahia FC in Kenya (2022-24) where he won two Kenya Premier League titles (2023-24, 2022-23), and the 2023-24 Kenya Charity Shield, returning the club to the top of Kenyan football.

As Head Coach of the Uganda National Team, (2019 - 2021) he led Uganda to win CECAFA 2019 and delivered a win from 2 in every 3 games, going undefeated in 8 in evey 10 games.  This represented the highest 'win' and 'undefeated' rate achieved by a Uganda National Team Coach in over 15 years.

He was Head Coach of the Rwanda National Football Team (2015-16). Within 17 months he led Rwanda to a number of highs - including their first ever appearance in the knockout stages of a major international tournament (Quarter-finals of CHAN, Jan 2016) and finished runner-up in CECAFA (Dec 2105), being named 'Coach of the Tournament' for his efforts. 

Across 2013-14, he was Head Coach of the Sierra Leone National Men's Football team. Within just over a year, he had led Sierra Leone to their highest ever FIFA World and African rankings - 7th in Africa and 50th in the World (August 2014). 

He has also been Head Coach of Saif Sporting Club, Bangladesh Premier League (2018-19); and FK Kauno Zalgiris, Lithuanian A-Lyga (2017-18).   

Coach McKinstry is a European (UEFA), American (NSCAA) and university qualified football coach and a member of Common Goal.

Quotes: What the media say

  • Under his management, the team played attractive football, scored goals and racked up some important results.

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    Eoin O'Callaghan
  • McKinstry has become one of the most rounded and well-travelled British coaches at the highest level abroad.

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    These Football Times
  • Johnny McKinstry is one of the most intelligent, level-headed and knowledgeable managers in the game today. Few can match his achievements by the age of 30, and fewer still the success he has enjoyed in the game.

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    These Football Times
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