Watanga FC are the new leaders of the Orange-sponsored Liberia Football Association (LFA) first division national league following match day three on Wednesday.
Head coach Matthew Julutweh guided Watanga to a hat-trick of victories with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Keitrace FC at the Doris Williams sports pitch in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. Elijah Clark scored his second goal of the campaign in the 20th minute.
In Kakata, Margibi County, NPA Anchors and Jubilee FC entertained fans to a six-goal thriller in a 3-3 draw in game one. Max Sammie scored the fastest goal this season as NPA took the lead in the first minute.
Francis Dortu leveled in the 18th minute before Samuel Boe converted a 34th minute penalty to put Jubilee in the lead. Dad Kollie also leveled for NPA in the 65th minute and Emmanuel Flomo restored their advantage three minutes later.
But Zackie Bamie shared the spoils by converting Jubilee’s second penalty with eight minutes to go. Small Town made it two wins in a row with a 3-1 victory over Nimba FC in game two.
Seah Harris scored in the third minute for the Logan Town-based club and Trokon Yancy doubled their lead four minutes after the break.
Abubakar Kamara secured all three points in the 52nd minute before Dauda Kamara reduced the score in the 73rd minute. Defending champions Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) forced Nimba United to a 1-1 draw at the Blue Field on Lynch Street.
It was a tight game in which both teams were cautious of each other until Varney Dukuly broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute.
But Daniel Woto, who joined the champions from LISCR FC, spared their blushes in the 75th minute. And United coach Christopher Wreh was pleased with the outcome.
“It is a good result. BYC fought hard to equalize but we came here actually to draw or to win. And I am so proud of my team. They did extremely well.
“We got to keep fighting until the end of the season,” said former Liberia international Wreh, who won the Premier League and FA Cup double with Arsenal in 1998.
BYC coach Robert Lartey admitted United were a difficult side to break long before their lead.
“I appreciate the way my boys played but Nimba United were tactical. They came with a good game plan and they executed it very well. Be it as it may, you know it is football.
“Sometimes these things happen. Last night we saw Real Madrid leaving the Champions League on home soil. So it is football. What they did here we can go to the North Star and do the same to them,” said Lartey.
At the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS), sensational LPRC Oilers continued their unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory over LISCR FC in game one. LISCR have lost two of three games but Gambian coach Tapha Manneh said the team was unlucky to score.
“We played very well, especially in the first 45 minutes. We had a couple of chances we couldn’t capitalize on. We are bad luck today but I am really impressed about the performance,” said Manneh.
Oilers coach Cooper Sannah, who fielded six former LISCR players in his squad, said his plans were well executed.
“Normally in the game of soccer, there is an easy win but our strategy and approach made it easy for us. So what we are thinking about is how we can target our performance game by game but the win today was vital for us as a team,” said Sannah, who also coached BYC and LISCR.
Monrovia Club Breweries condemned FC Fassell to a hat-trick of defeats with a 4-0 victory in game two.
Captain Matis Mulbah scored a brace in the 59th and 87th minutes in between a three-minute opener for Thomas Barr and a Tonny Weah’s 82nd minute placement.
The win was much to the delight of deputy coach Gerald Julius, who believes the title race is too early to predict.
“You have to come back stronger when the team goes down to two defeats. So today’s victory signifies a good beginning for the team, especially for the young players we have. So it was a good win and we like that,” said Julius.
Watanga are top with nine points while BYC, LPRC Oilers and Nimba United are leveled with seven points. Small Town are fifth with six points while NPA are sixth with four points. Breweries and LISCR are leveled with three points in the seventh and eighth places. Jubilee are a place above the relegation zone but Nimba FC, Keitrace and Fassell are in the red.