As promised, Sierra Leone looked the reigning African champions Algeria straight in the eye, pushing them to their last corner in the first period before putting up a Maginot Line to register their first point of the tournament.
The first half was largely to the advantage of Sierra Leone with two scoring chances for striker Alhaji Kamara
After the break, Kei Kamara was whistled for offside when he thought he had opened the scoring.
This refused goal served as a reminder to the Desert Foxes who began to come out of their torpor.
Yacine Brahimi tried to light the first match in the 50th minute but fell short on the Sierra Leonean goalkeeper.
In the 65th minute Sofiane Bendebka was blocked by Steven Caulker as the ball hit the net.
With six minutes remaining, Benrhama misses the mark on his own in the penalty area.
Until the end, the Desert Foxes laid siege to the Sierra Leone side but goalkeeper Mohamed N Kamara remained strong and made up for his defense twice.
What they said
John Keister, Sierra Leone coach:
“I’m happy with the result (0-0) even though we attacked this game to win it. We had the reigning African champions Algeria, a great and beautiful team, but we stuck to our strategy which worked. I don’t want to highlight a single player even if the goalkeeper (Mohamed N Kamara) was elected man of the match. This is a collective performance and we will continue to do so. We have to fight and grow this group. And since our arrival, we have been working to move forward. There’s no point in having a great game today (this Tuesday) and letting the other games slip away, it’s at the end of the tournament that we’ll know if we’re the surprise. We take game after game ’.
Djamel Belmadi, Algeria coach:
’I can’t say that I’m satisfied, the objective being to enter the competition well with the maximum number of points, but it wasn’t possible. But it’s not just the conditions, the heat and humidity. We had a brave opponent in front who left little room. And as the game went on, he had more motivation and reduced the spaces. In the second half, it is true that we had a lot more chances but we must also salute the performance of the opponent. And as I said this AFCON, it will be difficult for everyone “.