Cape Verde came from a goal down to beat Liberia 2-1 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Thursday to get their first win in Group C in Africa’s World Cup Qualifiers.
Van Dave Harmon, who got his first start under coach Peter Butler, netted a first-half injury-time goal after collecting a pass from new boy Moussa Sanoe before sending in a right-foot strike that was deflected into the back of the net from inside the area.
Liberia had better coordination and possession of the ball in the first half that led to the creation of many chances with Kpah Sherman having the best chance in the 39th, but his low right-footed placed ball was denied by goalkeeper Josimar Dias.
Much was expected from the Lone Star in the last 45 due to their first-half performance, but Butler and his boys seem to have lost concentration as Cape Verde leveled the score five minutes into the first half. Jamiro Monteiro got the equalizer through a right-foot blast from about 13 yards after he was perfectly set up by his teammate through a cutback.
Due to Cape Verde’s dominance in the second half, coupled with many options available on Liberia substitute’s bench, Coach Butler made four changes by replacing debutant Moussa Sanoh, Jeremy Saygbe, Seth Hellberg and injured Van Dave Harmon.
Unfortunately, Butler’s changes didn’t make a positive impact as the victors snatched the victory in the 92nd minute through substitute Garry Rodrigues.
“I take responsibility for the result but I think Ashley should have done better with the last goal. It is what it is,” Butler said in his post-match interview.
The result sent Liberia bottom of the group with three points from three games, while Cape Verde moved second with four points. Both Liberia and Cape Verde will now travel to Praia, Cape Verde for the second-leg slated for October 10. Elsewhere, in Lagos, Nigeria, Central African Republic recovered from their 1-0 defeat against Liberia to defeat group leaders Nigeria 1-0 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Despite the defeat, Nigeria remained top of the group with six points, while CAR moved to third place in the group. Both teams are set to face off in the second leg on October 10.