Liberia Face Egypt Today in Int’l Friendly
Liberia men’s senior national football team faces Egypt today in the second international friendly match in Alexandria, Egypt.
Today’s match is the second of two international friendlies agreed on between Liberia, Niger, and Egypt. Liberia and Niger settled to a goalless draw Sunday after Egypt had earlier defeated Niger 3-0 in the opening match.
Interim head Coach Thomas Kojo termed his team’s performance as “good”, despite the draw.
“On the overall, they did very well and I believe that the team will get better if we engage in more international friendlies like this,” Kojo said in his post-match interview.
Prior to the team’s departure to Egypt, Kojo in an interview with the BBC said, “My first priority is to improve on what my predecessor did since I was his deputy (from March). He did a good job by bringing some youthful players into the squad,” Kojo told BBC Sport Africa.
“We have not been doing well in the qualifiers, [not] reaching the finals since Mali 2002. I want to qualify Liberia to Ivory Coast with the support of everyone, including the government and Liberia Football Association (LFA).
“My task now, together with my staff, is to make sure we get a team that can compete internationally by getting some of the older players, who are playing and want to make a contribution to their country, by mixing them with the youth.”
It is still unclear whether Kojo applied for the national team’s coach job after the LFA announced a vacancy following the expiration of Englishman Peter Butler’s contract.
Ahead of today’s game, Egypt has announced the withdrawal of players Mohamed Salah and Mustafa Mohamed from the squad.
Although both players are match fit, Egypt’s technical staff headed by coach Roy Vitori reached a decision to rest the duo for today’s encounter.
Salah and Mustafa were the two scorers in Egypt’s 3-0 win against Niger on Friday, with Salah netting a brace. The duo left the team’s camp Sunday evening.
In their previous six encounters, Egypt defeated Liberia four times while losing twice. Their most recent meeting occurred in a friendly game that the Pharaohs won 2-0 in September of last year.