This weekend will be another one of intruding football action that involves the national team, the Lone Star, as thousands of avid fans are expected to turn out at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville to cheer the national team to victory.
The Lone Star will be going against the ‘Leopards’ of DR Congo. The match is the second round of group stage matches in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Liberia and DR Congo are in Group G along with leaders Zimbabwe and Congo Brazzaville.
After a shocking 3-0 loss away to Zimbabwe last year June, Liberians expect nothing less than a victory that will put the national team in a better position ahead of the remaining group matches.
The Lone Star are seated at the bottom of the group while their opponents are in the second position level on points, behind group leaders Zimbabwe after Congo’s 3-1 win over neighbors Congo Brazzaville.
Conceding another defeat will worsen the frustration of Liberians as the Lone Star team strives to qualify to the Nations Cup since they last qualified in 2002.
Both teams are not strangers, but the current breed of players are strangers to each other as they were not on the national team of both countries when they last met.
According to stats, both teams have met four times with Liberia holding a record of two wins and a draw while DRC claimed one. The last meeting between both team was in the 1997 Nations Cup qualifiers when Liberia finished third in Group 6 after collecting two wins, two draws out of six games.
Two goals from former national team players Kelvin Sebwe and George Weah in the 20th and 50th minutes respectively were enough for Liberia to clinch a 2-1 victory over the Leopards at the SKD on June 22, 1997.
Judging from both teams’ recent performances in all competitions, the Leopards are the better side after winning two and drawing two of their last five in all competitions, while the Lone Star managed a win and a draw out of their last five.
Of course it will be a tough encounter as both teams will be going for nothing less than a win. Liberia’s local-based players displayed a high level of performance in their recent goalless draw against Sierra Leone and their 1-0 triumph over Mauritania in the African Nations Championship. Their recent performance, coupled with their pairing with foreign-based players including William Jebor, Anthony Laffor, Sam Johnson, and Kpan Sherman among others should give them the headway against the Congolese on Sunday.
After all is said and done the players should remember that this is their moment and therefore they cannot afford to miss it. Coach Thomas Kojo must be ready to offer the kind of direction from the sidelines to secure a place for his team.
Liberia Full Squad
- Tommy Songo – LISCR FC
- Boison Wynney – Mallorca (Spain)
- Ashley Williams – LISCR FC
- Kemoh Kamara – LISCR FC
- Teah Dennis – Barrack young Controller ( BYC)
- Aloysius Simujla – LPRC Oliers
- Alvin Maccornel – LPRC Oliers
- Ebenezer Solo – LPRC Oliers
- Adolphus Marshall – Gudja Uited (Malta)
- Joel Johnson Alajarin – Charlotte independence (USA)
- Jeremy Saygbe – BYC FC
- Saah Nyumah – LISCR FC
- Allen Njie – LISCR FC
- Murphy Oscar Dorley – Slovan Liberec (Czech Republic)
- Sam Johnson – Valerenga (Norway)
- Tonia Tisdell – Denizilspor (Turkey)
- Anthony Laffor – Mamelodi Sundown (South Africa)
- Sylvannus Nimely – Sparta Moscow II (Russia)
- 19.Sheiku Sheriff – LISCR
- Kpah Sherman – MISC – MIFA
- Sekou Conneh – Ansan Greener (South Korea)
- William Jebor – Wydad Casablanca (Morocco).