A Bright Chance to Qualify for Afcon 2017

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Three Lone Star players and Coach Salinsa Debbah.jpg

Head coach James Salinsa Debbah and his technical team may not be joking these days and therefore national team players abroad wanting to be called to join the team must not be joking either.

Examining Lone Star’s chances in the last four games, there is a high possibility that Liberia could qualify for the 2017 Afcon to be held in Gabon.

To get closer to qualification, Lone Star must first take care of Djibouti on March 23, next year in Djibouti City. And with the level of commitment that the players exhibited against Tunisian that had beaten Djibouti 8-1, there is a bright chance that Liberia could consolidate its position by beating Djibouti at home.

Beating Djibouti would improve Liberia’s chances to qualify, for the next match would be against Togo right here in Monrovia, in a tricky affair on July 3.

And like the Djibouti story, the second hurdle must be cleared to consolidate Liberia’s chances than any of the contestants.

The Lone Star technical team is saying that with the future looking so bright players that would be asked to make up the Lone Star team would be those who are active and on their first team list abroad.

Playing against Togo at home is a tricky affair as I stated earlier. Please recall that in their first encounter in Lome, Liberia took the steam out of Togo when they took a 1-0 lead till their soccer daredevil Adebayor , who had promised victory for his country, proved prophetic, working overtime to bang in two quick goals before the end of the game.

So it means that coming for the return-leg away from home, the Togolese are coming with some element of uncertainty and might fight to seek a draw. For if the Liberians could take the lead right in Lome, then it makes sense they could even do some damage before their home fans.

True, the Togolese would be coming with Adebayor but if we can maintain the level of performance demonstrated against Tunisia at home, there is a chance that with effective policing of Adebayor on the field he could be made ineffective.

So if Liberia could secure victory over Togo, what would remain is to bank the last hope on Djibouti in the return encounter in Monrovia because Liberia would play Tunisia on September 2, next year before the last match against Djibouti.

If Lone Star could secure six points from Djibouti and Togo, and add the three points secured from Tunisia, Liberia would wait for the game to play out with Djibouti as the last sacrificial lamb to secure three more points for Gabon 2017.

The above painstaking analysis demands Liberia Football Association and the Ministry of Youth & Sports to play their cards carefully and effectively because with such a bright prospect for Gabon 2017, we cannot accept lame excuses.

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