FA Cup holders Monrovia Club Breweries and FC BEA Mountain yesterday advanced to the next round of the 2017 Knockout Tournament after winning their first matches at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
The holders in the late kickoff defeated Margibi based Harbel Athletic 2-1 after scoring two goals in six minutes.
Breweries got the opener through George Jackson in the first 120 seconds (2 minutes) after the left-back took advantage of his opponents’ unsettled defense to deliver the assist from a teammate.
Less than five minutes later, Coach Francis Sarploh’s boys doubled their lead through Charles Buima following a brilliant combination with teammate James Konuwah in the sixth minute.
Harbel Athletic from the kickoff looked unsettled as they lost ball possession and provided faulty passes.
Breweries, however, failed to capitalize on the numerous defensive errors of their opponents to increase their goal advantage due to striker Konuwah’s inability to possess his own ball in front of his opponents’ goalpost.
Midway through the first half the Margibi side was left unsupervised after head Coach Warman Garnafattor and team manager Victor Knox were given the marching orders.
At the resumption of the second half, Harbel Athletic returned with a better approach, taking control of ball possession and testing goalkeeper Abdulai Koulibily for the first time.
In the 78th minute, the Margibi based side got an opportunity to get a consolation goal after Togar Goffan was brought down in the penalty area.
Macarthur Gloe converted the spot kick to reduce the score to 2-1 for the Margibi based team.
Herbal Athletic tried to utilize the remaining minutes of the match to get the much needed equalizer, but it was too late for the Margibians.
In the first game FC BEA Mountain also advanced to the next stage of the knockout after defeating second division NPA Anchors 4-3 on post-match penalties after a goalless draw in 90 minutes.
The competition will continue tomorrow with first division LPRC Oilers going against second division Small Town FC in the first match, while Nimba Kwadoe will take on the Church Boys of Jubilee in the late second game.