Can Liberia Qualify for 2017 Afcon?

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The Lone Star of Liberia_web.jpg

 

Liberia was amongst 52 countries placed in one of the 13 Groups in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers draw at the headquarters of the Confederation of African Federation (CAF) in Cairo, Egypt, recently.

The Lone Star is in Group A, alongside Tunisia, Togo and Djibouti.

The group’s winners and two best second placed teams would join hosts Gabon for the finals.

According to CAF’s fixture, the qualifying starts on the weekend of June 12-14, 2015; and Liberia is expected to play away in her debut derby in Lome, Togo against the Sparrow Hawks, dubbed the Les Eperviers.

The Lone Star, between the weekends of September 4-6, will play host to the Carthage Eagles, dubbed Les Aigles de Carthage in her second match. The game would be played in Monrovia if the country is declared free of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) before the match-day but on the contrary, there would a neutral ground.

On the weekend of March 23-26, 2016, the Lone Star would play her second away game in Djibouti City against the Djibouti national football team, nicknamed the Riverains de la Mer Rouge – Shore-men of the Red Sea.

The Shore-men of the Red Sea are expected to play their return leg on the weekend of March 26-29, 2016 in Monrovia (if Liberia is free of the Ebola virus) – which would mark Liberia’s fourth game in the 2017 Afcon qualifiers.

Liberia would also play host to the Sparrow Hawks of Togo on the weekend of June 3-5, 2016 and play her last game away in Tunis against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on the weekend of September 2-4, 2016.

However, statistics show that two of the three members of Liberia’s Group have better record over Lone Star.

Overall data between Liberia and Togo indicates the two countries have met 15 times – eight in Monrovia and seven in Lome.

At home, Liberia whipped Togo four times, lost two and drew three, but have a very bad traveling record – losing six games and drawing one.

Liberia’s recent win (1-0) against Togo was on the 6th of September 1994 and Togo’s most recent win was at Tunis, 3-0.

Liberia’s statistics against Tunisia showed that both countries played eight games – Liberia won twice, lost four games and drew two.

On June 20, 1999 in Monrovia, Liberia defeated Tunisia 2-0; two years later, in the last encounter Tunisia thrashed Liberia 7-2 in Tunis.

 Lone Star bowed in three of the games played away but drew one but won two of the home-games, lost one and drew one.

Liberia has never played Djibouti.

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