Defending champions LISCR FC dropped their first two points of the new Liberia Football Association league season following their 1-1 draw against newly promoted NPA Anchors yesterday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.
LISCR went in search for their second win after starting their 2018 league campaign with a 3-1 triumph over Keitrace FC on Monday, but NPA stood firm to collect their first point in the top flight league.
With the champions creating more goal scoring chances, goalkeeper Joshua Williams was well positioned to deny striker Prince Urey’s shots in the early minutes of the first half.
LISCR’s forward Morris Vambo, who was making his first start of the season, should have opened the scoring for the defending champions at the closing stage of the first half. Hilton Varney rushed down the left flank before sending in a high cross into the Anchors’ defense, but Vambo’s header was no threat to goalkeeper Williams.
After a goalless first half, NPA Anchors’ defense continued to prove difficult to penetrate as they developed confidence in every minute. Goalkeeper Williams and his central defender Myers Galo were at their best to curb LISCR attacks.
However, LISCR continued to press forward in order to collect their second win of the new 2018 league season. Mark Paye was later introduced and made two attempts, but was very much unlucky with the target as his two shots rolled off meters away from the right goalpost.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 61st minute after midfielder Armah Vaikainah converted from the spot. The penalty was as a result of Anchors’ defender Myers Galo tickle on LISCR striker Mark Paye in the penalty area.
Varney Sando’s attempt to double the champions lead two minutes later did not materialize as his strike was saved by the left post.
In reply to the opening goal, NPA Anchors attack was effective and efficient as midfielder James Richardson perfectly flipped in a high cross from the right flank that was poorly defended by defender Benjamin Doe in the danger area.
An opportunity to ultimately end the contest went in favor of LISCR after left-back Hilton Varney was brought down in the penalty area. Vaikainah failed to convert his second penalty as his low grown shot hit the right post, putting him in an offside position after he attempted taking the rebound.
Despite pushing everyone forward in the closing stages of the match, LISCR’s attempts could not find the winning goal as their quest for all three points ultimately ended in a frustrating one-all draw.
Despite the draw, the champions remain top of Group B, leveled on points with second place LPRC Oilers settled to a goalless draw against Nimba United Thursday, August 30, at the Nancy B. Doe Stadium in Kakata, Margibi County.