In a match to determine the fate of the national U-20 female side, Nigerian soccer fans will be treated to an afternoon of female soccer on Sunday in Nigeria.
The Liberian side left the country yesterday evening to honor the encounter on Sunday. The national female side is the underdog, going for the second leg with a heavy 7-1 loss behind them.
Playing at home, the Nigerian Falconets will have all the chance in the world to show to their countrymen how they managed to win the first leg with such a heavy margin.
Though not much was heard of the Liberian side’s training neither was any of the team’s strategy revealed, it is likely that Coach Chris Wreh and his deputy Oliver Makor are going to the game with one mind: to instruct the players to play as they have never played before.
But the question is: on what motivation? And I wish I know since the team’s preparation for the match against the Nigerians was more than attractive.
The haphazard nature of the team’s preparation spelled their doom in the first leg and therefore it makes sense for fans to expect nothing less than just playing because they must.
And that’s where the only chance is. Playing with their back on the wall, the Liberian female side would be hoping for a miracle to survive the apparent onslaught from their Nigerian opponents.
Evidently, Nigeria has had an impressive history in the evolution of the female game, simply because of their seriousness to develop the game. They have never been absent in any of the tournament organized by either CAF or FIFA, and their teams play remarkably well, too.
Liberian began to develop the female in the 1980s but political and social issues have dodged our teams that we are still crawling while others are running.
But, and here it is a big but: can we learn anything worthwhile from what we did and did not do during the two-leg preparations and their attendant results? May be we will. Interestingly, it was not one of the pioneers of female soccer, Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff (known during her playing days as Lady Zico), but rather it was US Ambassador Deborah Malac, who once made it her duty to inspire our girls to encourage them to play and develop the game. (See accompanied photo above.)
So while we are waiting for the result of the game on July 26, which incidentally is Liberia’s 168th Independence Anniversary, let’s hope that our girls could make some difference on Sunday.