Since the France 98 qualifiers, Sierra Leone have proven themselves capable without ever getting too close to the golden ring. In that event, they finished in a group above Ghana, while four years later, they famously beat Nigeria by a 1-0 score. There was a dip in 2006 that saw them fall to Congo across two legs. In qualifiers for South Africa 2010, the Leone Stars overcame a nervous opening round in which they struggled past Guinea Bissau to hold their own in the second group stage against Nigeria, South Africa and Equatorial Guinea. They won four points off Bafana Bafana, including another famous 1-0 win at home.
The current crop
A rugged qualifying campaign for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, in which they faced Egypt, South Africa and Niger, should have the young Leone Stars primed and ready for Brazil 2014 qualifying. They are especially difficult opponents in Freetown’s National Stadium.
The key players
Up-and-coming midfielders Rodney Strasser and Mohamed Kamara keep things tidy for Sierra Leone, while Julius Wobay drives things forward. There are a few promising attackers looking to replace icon Mohammed Kallon, who is moving into the denouement of his career.
Coach: Lars Olof Mattsson
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Musa Kallon