Liberia’s national colors – red, white and blue –not only dazzled on the fans who turned out at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on Tuesday, but it also revived thousands of Liberians who listened to radios across the nation.
The day started with rain and ended with a burning sun, yet Liberians rushed to support the national team.
Vehicles flew Liberian flags while business centers displayed them at their venues.
Even though there was little doubt over any other possible result, because of the idiom “If you praise white chicken too much it would jump into red oil,” Liberians were nonetheless hopeful of victory.
The US$10 ticket tag for around-the-field didn’t scare Liberians and well-wishers who queued for the game.
Rumor around the field, especially on what is known as the Barrolle side of the field, said Djibouti came to rotate their defeat.
By 3:24 p.m., the Lone Star appeared on the field to a tumultuous welcome, and their opponents came about ten minutes later.
Incredibly, some fans offered prayers to God to give “Liberia a new day” with victory. Losing, to them, was not an option.
The game started with cheers at 3:59 p.m. Perhaps, it was the arrival of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; eight minutes later a triangular pass involving Anthony Laffor, Theo Weeks and William Jebor, resulted in a penalty, when Jebor was knocked out, and Laffor didn’t disappoint by hitting the back of the net.
Sam Johnson increased the tally before recess, and smiles greeted his yeoman’s job, with President Sirleaf enjoying the victory at the VIP.
William Jebor on the other hand was having a nightmare as his passes were misdirected or blocked.
Theo Weeks and Dioh Williams were impressive – and voted “twin men of the match.” Goalie Tommy Songo would have made them three, but for his poor positioning, and his fondness for leaving the goal that caused a controversial goal in favor of Djibouti that the first linesman was smart to correct. Every fan was on his name.
Djibouti’s coach was sent out of his technical area and another technical staff got a yellow card for misconduct.
The second half started with Lone Star going on all four cylinders—central defender Omega Roberts – soft and unaggressive was the only player yellow carded for a thoughtless foul.
There was still panic among some Liberians despite the two goals, aware of England’s incredible 3-2 victory against Germany – the struggling English team was down 2-0, but came back strong to win.
However, the fright was eased when William Jebor rattled the net –from an excellent solo drive from Theo Weeks.
Djibouti’s defensive blunder compelled Jebor to increase his contribution to two goal on an assist from Sekou Kanneh.
Several songs were heard afterward: “We Waste It Papa!” Another was “Papa Da you!” and “Glory be to God in the Highest,” believing that the victory was God’s doing.
When the game ended, Lone Star was besieged by fans for over twenty minutes, as commendations flowed to the players and the technical staff.
They also sang “Togo, We Warn You ooooo!” convinced that the team’s next match against Togo in Monrovia could see a similar result.