It makes a little bit of sense to say that if the national football team will make it for the next round of the 2018 World Cup qualifying stage to play in the group stage, then it will need more than ordinary determination to get there.
For a fact the national team, forced to a 1-1 draw last Thursday, would now have to win, not 0-0 draw but a win to be able to jump over Guinea Bissau for the next round against La Cote d’Ivoire.
But can the national team do it? While records indicate a poor away performance, it is still possible for the team to perform incredibly well in Bissau if head coach James Salinsa Debbah could explore his own experience when he played for the national team in a similar circumstance.
At the time, some of us fondly remember his yeoman’s role when he would put the burden on his own shoulders and make what came out to be known as making ‘impossible possible.’ Those days are gone, true and things are different now. But for Liberia to be able to win over such a tricky situation on
Wednesday in Bissau there must be a player of an exceptional caliber; of good qualities that can lead his friends to make a difference.
And truly, players like Francis Doe, Patrick Gerhardt, Sam Johnson and Anthony Laffor could be developed to play that kind of role. But since we are told that the national team is being built, we are at the same time being helped to understand that the team or the players are not at their peak, and therefore they need more time to get grow.
While the idea that we are building the national team sounds we are not ready for such important assignment, defeating highly fancied Tunisia was well received and no one said the national team was being built. It was only when lowly rated Guinea Bissau exposed our weakness in front of the goal that someone brought the excuse that we are building the national team.
I need to point out that every country is building their team and so it is about time we told our players we are going for all out for it, and stop building a team on excuse.
In fact with the manner Liberia played Guinea Bissau in the first 45 minutes and in the latter part (in the second half) it indicated that it was Guinea Bissau that was building their team, and NOT Liberia.
Now playing away the pessimists will insist that with poor away record, the day will be over for the national team by Wednesday’s end. The reason many teams find it good to win at home is because like what happened last Thursday, the national team had the people there to cheer them on while and Guinea Bissau did not.
So, whatever the situation may be, Lone Star must know that they are on their own to do a particular job and that job is to ensure an away performance that would mark them out as a team that could make a difference, no matter where they are playing.
A 1-0 victory could make a big difference to change their destiny and I hope James Debbah and the rest of the gang are aware of what is at stake. Meanwhile, the national team left Monrovia yesterday and was expected to arrive in Guinea Bissau yesterday evening.