The national U-20 team will today face Mali in the second semi-final match of the ongoing WAFU U-20 tournament at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex.
The Junior Lone Star last Saturday demolished Sierra Leone 5-1 in the quarter-finals at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, a result that many did not expect from the team.
In their opening match, the Junior Lone Star performed dismally and were thrashed 3-0 by Junior Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire.
Head coach Christopher Wreh told journalists after the team’s 2-1 win against Guinea Bissau that due to his teams’ irregular use of the SKD, his players found it difficult to secure a favorable result.
His statement was backed by the team’s weekend 5-1 performance against Sierra Leone at the ATS. According to the local organizing committee chairman, Sekou Konneh, the change of venue was not a request from Liberia. He said the change was made to avoid match-fixing when Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Bissau were in contention for the last slot in Group A after Cote d’Ivoire had earlier qualified.
However, the tournament’s match venue remains the SKD as was emphasized by the local organizing committee chair at the press conference yesterday, with only four teams left in the tournament.
Today’s match against Mali will be a tough one. Both teams won two and lost one out of three games, although the Malians qualified as winners of Group B. The Malians are desperate and are hoping to recover from their 1-0 defeat against The Gambia.
On the other hand, the momentum among Liberian players has grown from their last two games they won and many Liberians will turn out more than before to cheer their junior national team to victory.
With both teams aiming for the finals tomorrow, the tension will be high and even Chief Patron George Weah, who is expected to be in attendance, will be hoping to see his boys reach the final.