Twenty-eight (28) teams were from the initial stages drawn from the first round of the FA Cup. After 29 games, only four teams remain in the competition, with the finalists to be decided today.
Out of the last four teams currently in the knockout, ELWA United and Keitrace FC stand a better chance of advancing to the final.
ELWA United has a better chance due to its first leg triumph over the Scoring Scorpions, Samira FC. Two goals from Archie Williams and Dominic Jlateh sealed the victory for the Paynesville side.
Samira, on the other hand, has attributed its defeat to the absence of some of its key players who were in action for county football teams in the just ended four counties “Who Owns the Land” tournament, and has vowed to produce a surprising result in today’s match.
It will be a setback for ELWA United that has already been relegated in the championship to miss out on its chance of advancing to the final after a 2-0 win in the first leg.
The next finalist will be decided between Keitrace FC and LISCR FC after an entertaining first leg. With three away goals on its record, Keitrace will deepen the wounds of its opponent LISCR if the team continues its scoring form displayed in the first leg.
The netting of the three goals in the first leg resulted from Keitrace’s control of the midfield. The creativity of midfielder Marie Zableh and forward Amadia Kawah in the midfield was the driving force that the Shipping Boys needed to prevent Keitrace from scoring.
But introducing a formation that will tackle that driving force is what supporters are looking up to Coach Tapha Manneh to bring forth after one of his influential midfielders, Allen Njie, was red carded in the first leg.
Midfielder Njie was outstanding in LISCR’s midfield, but could not prevent the dominance of the Keitrace midfielders. His forceful marking as a defensive midfielder led to center referee Jerry Yekeh awarding him two yellow cards. Keitrace, having conceded two goals in the first leg from the penalty spot, needs to put up a better defensive posture against tall striker Christopher Jackson on long crosses.
The two penalties by LISCR resulted from crosses intended for striker Jackson from the two wings. If Keitrace should prevent their opponents from scoring away goals, striker Jackson should be the targeted man.
But it is still unclear if skillful forward Edward Ledlum, who missed the first leg due to an injury, and midfielder Sekou Sheriff, who was reportedly left out of the first leg due to yellow card awarded him in his last match, will be a part of Coach Manneh’s lineup for today’s match.
If they are, then the competition in the midfield will be intriguing.
Regardless of how today’s games are going to play out, only two teams are going to make it to the knockout finals.
Who are the finalists of this year’s FA Cup?