The last time they met, The Warriors of Zimbabwe defeated Lone Star 3-0 in a match in which everything went wrong for the losers.
Now the two teams will meet on Sunday, Nov. 18, in a duel that should determine Lone Star’s chances to move to a better ground or whether the results could end Lone Star’s CAF2019 dream.
With their first-leg victory over Lone Star, The Warriors may have the edge, psychologically, since the 3-0 loss may be on the minds of Lone Star and they may likely be intimidated about it. But truth be told, the game of soccer is such that a team could today and lose another day.
Every game has its ups and downs and events at a particular game determine the outcome of a match. Just consider the European Games, they are the same!
Playing before their pet crowd several weeks ago in Harare, The Warriors aimed high and incredibly scored three beautiful goals.
Now, the tide has changed and they are playing away before the pet crowd of Lone Star and it would be reasonable to argue that they could suffer the same fate as Lone Star in Harare.
However, I am reminded of the popular opinion of veteran soccer coach Josiah N. Johnson. Coach Johnson managed Lone Star, for at least 15 years. That period not much money was in football and the Lone Star players played for the love of the game.
He said “results of football matches are like breaking biscuits,” where they never break when you want it. But I believe that with proper focus and a little sacrifice for Liberia, Lone Star too should be winning their matches.
Of course, today things have changed and not only are players on the national team being compensated immensely for playing for their country, but there is also another side that adds up to a player’s record for playing for his motherland. That alone has some prestige!
Like soldiers on the battlefield, they may be aware of the eventuality of the ultimate sacrifice but, at the same time, the soldier is also aware that he is fighting for posterity and therefore he puts all he has into it because of his country.
In fact unlike rebel wars or the recent rebel wars where, despite their brutality, no rebel soldier is remembered with fond memories today and even those who survived (Senator Johnson is one) are being hunted down to face economic and war crimes, the good soldier is the one who fights for his country and his people.
Hence, like good soldiers, sportsmen are held in high esteem. In their matches, the national anthem is played to move their spirit of patriotism.
On Sunday, Chief Patron George Weah will be in attendance, and clearly, it would remind him of his playing days when he led his colleagues to defend Liberia against other countries.
This brief review of nationalism and patriotism is meant to encourage Lone Star players to remember that their compatriots will be at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex to cheer them on to victory.
They will expect them to play the beautiful game with creativity and give them the goals that could maintain Liberia’s position for a chance to play in Cameroon, next year.
With an array of professional players being brought into the country, for once, let these players prove that they can win the second home game, at least for George Weah.