The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone held their first full training session in Bamako, Mali, as they prepare for their crucial encounter against Burkina Faso in the ongoing 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The atmosphere in the camp is electric, with players displaying fitness and determination as they aim to continue their journey towards World Cup qualification.

Fresh off a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Djibouti, the Leone Stars are brimming with confidence. The win has positioned them favorably in the qualifiers, edging them closer to a coveted spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Today’s training session was marked by high energy and focused drills, with the coaching staff pushing the players to their limits in anticipation of the challenging match ahead.

Head Coach Amidu Karim expressed his satisfaction with the team’s progress and readiness. “The victory against Djibouti was crucial, and it has boosted the morale of the team. The players are in great shape, and their commitment to the training sessions has been exemplary. We are fully focused on the match against Burkina Faso and are determined to secure a positive result,” Karim stated in brief interview.

Sierra Leone will take on Burkina Faso at the Stade du 26 Mars in Group A of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on Monday.

Burkina Faso were denied consecutive wins in the World Cup qualifiers as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against seven-time African champions Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium on Thursday.

The Stallions, who have lost each of their last four matches since January, will head into the game looking to stop the rot and move into second place in the group standings.

A quick-fire double from veteran midfielder Mahmoud Trezeguet put the Pharaohs in a commanding lead inside the opening seven minutes before Lassina Traore pulled one back with a 56th-minute effort.
Burkina Faso had kicked off their World Cup qualifying journey with a 1-1 draw against Guinea-Bissau on November 17, four days before cruising to a 3-0 victory over Ethiopia at the Stade El Abdi.

With Thursday’s result, Brama Traore’s men have now lost each of their last five outings across all competitions, including a 2-1 defeat against Mali in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 back in January.

This poor run of results has been owing to their defensive vulnerability as the Stallions have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last five matches while conceding 10 goals since January’s 1-0 win over Mauritania in the AFCON group stages.

Sierra Leone, on the other hand, picked up their first win in the qualifiers in midweek when as edged out Djibouti 2-1 when the two nations squared off at the Stade El Abdi.

After taking the lead inside the opening 12 minutes courtesy of Curtis Davies, Gabriel Dadzie converted his 35th-minute penalty to draw Djibouti level but Augustus Kargbo netted six minutes into the second half to hand the hosts a much-needed victory.