It was a shocking moment yesterday for President George Weah at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex after he watched the national U-20 team concede a 3-0 defeat against Côte d’Ivoire in their opening match of the ongoing WAFU U-20 tournament.
Three second-half goals from Doumbia Aboubacar Junior, Diabate Yalatie, and Tabi Bartiano gave the visitors a comfortable victory in their opening match in Group A.
After several attempts, especially from the visitors, both teams could not get the curtain raiser in the first 45 minutes. Liberia’s lone chance in the first half was in the 26th minute after BYC forward Sam Jackson missed a one-on-one opportunity to put his team in front.
Following a goalless first half, the visitors came back stronger and later got the opener in the 50th minute through Aboubacar Junior after a defensive flop in the Liberians’ defense.
Coach Christopher Wreh’s boys failed to recover from the goal and lost focus. Even though Coach Wreh made some substitutions in during the second half for FC Bea Mountain striker Musa Kabbay and LISCR midfielder Sekou Sheriff, the team could not threaten their opponent’s defense.
However, the visitors did not slow down in their attacks but rather increased their goals in the 77th minute when Diabate Yalatie slotted home a ground shot in the lower right corner of the goalpost before Bartiano sealed the game with the third goal with a rebound.
Although Coach Wreh did not address journalists in a post-match press conference, many have attributed the junior Lone Star’s performance to poor preparation.
In the group’s second match, Sierra Leone secured a 2-1 win against Guinea Bissau to place them in the second position in Group A.
The tournament will continue tomorrow at the SKD with Senegal facing Mali in Group B’s first match, while The Gambia will face Guinea in the second game.