Sierra Leone once again demonstrated character and determination to hold tournament favourites to two-all draw game in their second group game in the competition on Sunday, in Douala.
Prior to this, Sierra Leone put up a similar performance to hold Algeria in their opening game.
This time around the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire were only two minutes away from bagging the maximum points, when the Leone Stars capitalized on goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare’s error and made it 2-2 through substitute Alhaji Kamara at the Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon.
It was a tense moment for Cote d’Ivoire in added time as their skipper Serge Aurier was forced to go in for a goal after goalkeeper Sangare was carried off injured.
The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire earned a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was knocked down in the box by defender Osma Konate.
But the Sierra Leone goalkeeper Mohamed Nbalie Kamara was up to the task when he reacted well to stop Franck Yannick Kessie’s spot kick placed in the bottom right corner.
Defender Steven Caulker continued to command the Sierra Leone back line well as they stopped the Elephants attacks.
After 22 minutes Sebastien Romain Teddy Haller made it 1-0 for Cote d’Ivoire after receiving a neat defensive splitting pass from Zaha and made no mistake finding the net.
The Sierra Leone goalkeeper was again called to punch away N’Clomande Ghislain Konan’s shot after 33 minutes to end the half in their favour.
After recess Cote d’Ivoire intensified their attacks for more goals, but it was Sierra Leone who leveled matters after 55 minutes.
Musa Kamara beat one defender and made no mistake shooting past the Cote d’Ivoire goalie.
The Elephants, however went up again after 66 minutes after some good inter passing which was eventually set-up by Zaha Nicolas Pepe blasted the ball in the corner.
Cote d’Ivoire continued to attack in numbers, but the Sierra Leone defending line stood firm, clearing and blocking several balls in their territory.
The stunner however came late with just one minute of added time to the final whistle when Cote d’Ivoire’s goalkeeper Sangare failed to get hold a back pass before Kamara made no mistake sliding it in the net to pick one valuable points for his side.