Liberia’s senior women’s national team have progressed to the semi-finals of the 2020 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone A women’s football tournament after a 2-1 victory over The Gambia at the Wusum Field in Makeni, Sierra Leone on Monday.
Kanties Sayee and defender Margret Stewart scored Liberia’s two goals to bag home all three points when they needed just a draw to qualify to the last four of the tournament.
It was a nightmare start for The Gambia after striker Sayee scored the fastest goal so far in 37 seconds when goalkeeper Aminata Darboe poorly handed a cross from Pauline Agbostu on the right flank.
Defender Stewart doubled Liberia’s lead after dipping in a free-kick from about 44-yards.
Adama Tamba could have gotten a consolation for The Gambia before the first-half break when she had a one-on-one opportunity, but couldn’t control her final touches.
Nonetheless, the Gambians had a good team talk during the half-time break as they kept Liberia’s defence on their back-foot and eventually reduced the goal deficits in the 61st minute through attacker Tabma.
The win saw Liberia finished second in Group B of the tournament with six points, three behind group winners Mali, who defeated Guinea Bissau 2-0 in their final match.
Defender Stewart was awarded the Player of the Match award for her stunning performance during the game.
Liberia lost 3-0 against Mali on February 28, their only defeat so far out of three group matches.
The female Lone Star face top-ranked Senegal in the semi-finals on Wednesday, March 4, to compete for a slot in the grand finale. Senegal finished as winners of Group A with seven points out of three games, three points adrift of runners-up Cape Verde.
FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers: Liberia 0-2 Ghana
At the U17 level, Liberia were over the weekend lucky to have lost 2-0 against Ghana-their first major test, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
Ghana, the Black Maidens, dominated the entire game but were unfortunate to have not gotten the curtain-raiser in the first-half, but Ophelia Serwaa Amponsah, the top goal scorer in the Ghana Women’s Premier League, broke the deadlock 63 minutes down the clock through a direct free-kick after captain Basira Alhassan was brought down outside the penalty area.
Salamatu Abdulai made it 2-0 to finally help the Black Maidens collect all three points.
Liberia U17 players appeared to be nervous against their opponents as they struggled to possess the ball in their own half. Goalkeeper Jackie Touah was the best player of the day as she made several saves to prevent her side from conceding more goals.
Ghana’s coach Mallam Nuhu, who travelled to Niamey, Niger to witness Liberia’s second-leg win against Niger, earmarked key players in Liberia’s squad and deployed a tactic that was perfectly implemented.
Despite the 2-0 win, coach Nuhu in his post-match comments expressed disappointment in his team, noting that they should have scored more goals.
On the other hand, Liberia’s coach Jenkins Doe, who sounded very optimistic in his pre-match press conference, was overwhelmed by his opponents later swapped positions in his back-line.
Attacker Blessing Kieh and midfielder Blessing Nagbe placed in the right and left-back positions to help the defence.
Unfortunately, Blessing Nagbe struggled in the left-back position and was later sent off after receiving her second yellow card.
Liberia will travel to Accra, Ghana for the return leg later this month.