Liberia’s two representatives in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup and Champions League, Monrovia Club Breweries and Barrack Young Controllers (BYC), during the weekend advanced to the next stage after both teams secured wins in their respective first leg matches.
Bushrod Island based MC Breweries on Friday secured a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Algeria’s most successful club, JS Kabylie, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
The “Islanders” made the first attempt after Mitis Mulbah’s header from six yards was knocked over the bar by goalkeeper Asselali Malek of the Algerian side.
Breweries, comprising of youthful players as compared to their opponents, kept the Algerians busy in search for the goal up to the 20th minute when the Algerians made their first two attempts on target through Berchiche Koceila and Beneldji Mehdi, but both strikes were brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Adbulai Koulibaly.
After a goalless first half both teams returned to the second session with the hope of getting the curtain raiser, but it was the Islanders (Club Breweries) that got the curtain raiser in the 58th minute through Mitis Mulbah.
Marvin Blapoh of Club Breweries tried to double the advantage but his strike from outside his opponents 18 yards box passed inches away from the goalpost.
JS Kabylie, through their leading goal scorer, Mohamed Boulaouidet, struggled to get a shot on target by heading a cross ball away from goal.
Blapoh finally got an opportunity to get his name on the score sheet after goalkeeper Malek kicked a ball in his own half that led to Captain Blapoh doubling his side’s advantage.
JS Kabylie tried to get a consolation goal by mounting pressure on their opponents, but could not due to the defensive posture of Breweries.
It later became a joyous moment for Liberians when the Islanders finally secured their third goal in the 90th minute after Nicholas Andrews, who was introduced as a substitute in the first half, slotted home a skillful volley that got spectators off their seats.
Breweries Coach Samuel Slapoh said he was shocked by the result: “I expected a victory, but not to win the match with such a score.”
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s CAF Championship match, Liberia’s representative Barack Young Controllers (BYC) got their advantage after narrowly defeating Malian side, Stade Malian, 1-0 at the ATS.
Following Club Beer’s huge victory on Friday, it was the hope of many football supporters that Champions BYC were going to follow suit by defeating their opponents with a similar score or above, but Coach Cooper Sannoh’s boys showed no difference from their style of play in league matches as it was earlier stated by the president, Sekou Konneh.
Both BYC and Stade Malian struggled to get a shot on target with the Malian side dominating possession up to the 24th minute when BYC was awarded a free-kick outside the penalty area after David Tweh was brought down by his opponent, but Mark Paye’s free-kick was saved by goalkeeper Djgui Diarra.
The Malians lost control of possession midway in the first half, but BYC could not utilize their dominance to hit target until the end of the first session.
Stade Malian could have put the Liberian champions on their back foot to get an equalizer after striker N’tji Samake’s one-on-one chance hit the cross bar.
The “Go Blue Boys” finally got a goal after they were awarded a penalty in the 84th minute by referee Raymond Coker of Sierra Leone, a decision that many described as controversial.
The penalty was scored by Prince Kennedy.