Liberia: Coach Ansu Keita, "We Are Not Going as Underdogs"
.... "We are going to South Africa, and we are not afraid. We are going as a team, and we will play good football to ensure that we get the necessary results. If we can't get it, it's football, but we are not going as underdogs," Keita said.
The Lone Star delegation, led by head coach Ansumana Keita, has departed for Johannesburg in preparation for the first-leg match against South Africa in Group K of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
South Africa will host the first leg at Orlando Stadium on 24 March at 1600Hrs, with the return leg taking place on 28 March at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Paynesville at 1600Hrs.
During his pre-departure press conference, coach Keita stated that his team is not going into the game as underdogs and will do their best to achieve the desired outcome.
"We are going to South Africa, and we are not afraid. We are going as a team, and we will play good football to ensure that we get the necessary results. If we can't get it, it's football, but we are not going as underdogs," Keita said.
He went on to say, "We will compete, we will do our best, and we will make sacrifices. There are three results in football: win, lose or draw. No matter what happens, those three results must stand."
The delegation includes seven local-based players and four foreign-based players. The remaining 12 foreign-based players will join the team in South Africa from their respective destinations.
Coach Keita has named William Jebor as captain for the doubleheader, among the 16 foreign-based players invited to join the team.
Jebor, who took a career break for two and a half years, previously held the captaincy in 2017 but was replaced by Sam Johnson in 2019. He currently plays for Valletta in the Maltese Premier League and joined the club during the winter transfer window as a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Estonian club Kalju FC.
Despite not yet scoring a goal since his return, Jebor has been a lethal striker for Liberia, with 12 goals in 20 games.
Liberia is currently at the bottom of Group A, which consists of three teams after Zimbabwe was disqualified from the qualifiers due to the suspension of the Zimbabwe Football Association by FIFA.