Hadji Barry ball kicker Swope Park Rangers - Nov. 18, 2018
Nick Smith

Hadji Barry earns Guinea debut, helps his country qualify for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Swope Park Rangers forward Hadji Barry earned his senior international debut on Sunday, helping Guinea qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-1 draw against Ivory Coast at Stade du 28 Septembre in the Guinean capital of Conakry.

Barry entered as an 86th-minute substitute after Guinea’s Mohamed Yattara and Ivory Coast’s Jean Michael Seri traded first-half goals. The result ensures that Guinea will finish first and Ivory Coast will finish second in Group H of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, therefore sending both teams to next summer’s biennial tournament.

Captained by Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, Guinea are 65th in the latest FIFA rankings and will conclude their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign against Central African Republic on March 22, 2019. The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will take place from June 15 – July 13 in five host cities across Cameroon.

Barry, 25, received his first call to Guinea’s senior team this month after starring for SPR during a splendid 2018 USL season. He scored a club-record 19 goals and finished second in the team with five assists en route to team MVP and USL All-League Second Team honors.

2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying: Group H Standings

Pos Team Pts W L T GF GA GD
1 Guinea (Q) 11 3 0 2 8 4 +4
2 Ivory Coast (Q) 8 2 1 2 9 5 +4
3 Central African Republic (E) 5 1 2 2 4 8 -4
4 Rwanda (E) 2 0 3 2 5 9 -4

Q: Qualified for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
E: Eliminated from 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifcation