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Banguras spell double trouble for AIK's rivals

Published: Thursday 7 July 2011, 16.00CET
AIK Solna forwards Mohamed and Teteh Bangura are not related, but their intuitive understanding gained from growing up together has made them the most prolific strike force in Sweden.
by Sujay Dutt
from Stockholm
Banguras spell double trouble for AIK's rivals
Mohamed and Teteh Bangura have proved to be a potent combination for AIK ©www.jojjesplejs.com
Published: Thursday 7 July 2011, 16.00CET

Banguras spell double trouble for AIK's rivals

AIK Solna forwards Mohamed and Teteh Bangura are not related, but their intuitive understanding gained from growing up together has made them the most prolific strike force in Sweden.

Visit AIK Solna this season and you will more than likely hear the chant "Bang! Bangura!" reverberate around the Råsundastadion.

Our dream when we were young was to come to Europe and play in the same team – now it's just like that
Mohamed and Teteh Bangura
For the people of Sierra Leone, football is like food!
Mohamed Bangura

No wonder: with 15 of fifth-placed AIK's 21 Swedish league goals coming from Mohamed Bangura and Ibrahim Teteh Bangura, they are the Allsvenskan's most prolific partnership. "Our dream when we were young was to come to Europe and play in the same team – now it's just like that," the duo from Sierra Leone told UEFA.com.

Not twins, not even brothers, they are not actually related at all. Yet the two 21-year-old Banguras know each other inside out. Playing with and against one another as youngsters on the streets of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, Mohamed and Teteh knew they wanted to become professional footballers.

One big step along the way was their time spent at FC Kallon – owned by Sierra Leone forward and former Serie A star Mohamed Kallon. Teteh was the national league's top scorer, often assisted by Mohamed. "The way we played back there is the way we play here," Mohamed said.

Fifteen games into Sweden's 2011 campaign, Teteh stands on ten goals, with Mohamed – ever the provider – having five to his name. What makes their impact even more impressive is the fact that a year ago they plied their trade in the third and fourth tiers of Swedish football.

Mohamed Bangura joined IFK Värnamo, coached by former Swedish international Jonas Thern, while Teteh tried his luck at Köping FF, one division down from Värnamo. After notching 12 goals in 13 outings, Mohamed's exploits soon captured the attention of bigger clubs and he moved to AIK halfway through 2010. Impressed by their first Bangura signing, the capital team then made a second, acquiring Teteh in January.

Along with their breakthrough in the top flight, both Banguras have now established themselves in the Sierra Leone national side. Teteh scored the only goal of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger in June. "We've climbed some 25 to 26 spots in the FIFA rankings," said Teteh. "They even mentioned it on the BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation], we're happy about that."

An unavoidable part of both players' childhood was the civil war that ravaged their homeland between 1991 and 2002. Mohamed Bangura points out that football has helped the country heal: "During the war there was no football. Now people have something lovely to enjoy. It helps people think of things other than the fighting. For the people of Sierra Leone, football is like food!"

In Sweden, appreciation of the Banguras is clear to see. Viewers of the country's biggest sports show voted Teteh's strike against IFK Göteborg as the best goal of the league season so far. Now there are reports of interest from abroad. "As coach, I'd love it if they stayed for the next five years," AIK assistant coach Nebojša Novaković told UEFA.com, "but to be realistic, I think we can hold onto them for six months, maybe a year."

When asked if their instant success in Sweden has come as a surprise, Teteh replied frankly: "I'm not surprised. I'm a footballer and a striker," before Mohamed jutted in: "We're supposed to score."

Last updated: 07/07/11 23.58CET

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