Striker William Jebor broke the perennial away goal drought of the national team to score three goals against Guinea Bissau yesterday in Bissau, in the second leg of the 2018 World Cup.
Coach James Salinsa Debbah, utilizing a 4-5-1 formation, kept the star player upfront as the middle was manned by Anthony Laffor, Sam Johnson, Patrick Gerhardt and encouraging player Oscar Dolley.
The 4-5-1 formation is a defensive technique that often frustrates opponents from tormenting a team’s defense area.
With Gizzie Dobor, Teah Dennis, Dirkir Glay and Solomon Grimes shielding goalkeeper Tommy Songo, it allowed William Jebor as a lone goal warrior who waited, to simply finish the play in the back of the net.
Evidently, Guinea Bissau planned an all out attack, since they needed goals, for playing at home but forgot to tighten their defense.
So when in the 8th minute William Jebor hit the back of the net with the first goal, radio reports indicated that their opponents could not believe what was happening, especially under their own noses.
But if the first goal gave the shock of their lives, Jebor was to do the heroic thing with the second goal, four minutes later.
Radio commentary said with Liberia in the lead, 2-0, Guinea Bissau rallied from the midfield, realizing that there was someone tormenting goalkeeper Jonas Mendes, whose goalkeeping skills helped his side to avoid disaster in the first leg in Monrovia last Thursday, which ended 1-1.
Both teams resorted to a ding-dong battle but it was Guinea Bissau that secured what turned out to be a consolation goal to give hundreds of their compatriots a false sense of a miracle.
Hoping to get a relief in the second half, Guinea Bissau fought back but met a great resistance in the Liberian defense where Teah Dennis and team had been working overtime, since there were reports of huge financial bonuses awaiting the team back in Monrovia.
With the second half not yielding the desired results for Guinea Bissau, when everything seemed as though the Liberians had made a clean sweep of the game, no one, not even Coach James Salinsa Debbah could have predicted what William Jebor had in his sleeves.
The game was in extra time, after the 90 minutes had expired in Liberia’s favor. Two minutes later, William Jebor was connected with a ball that he sent past goalkeeper Jonas Mendes to register his goal number three.
Even Daily Observer’s reporter Gloria T. Tamba, who wanted the referee to call off the game right at the 90th minute, could not stop rejoicing when the third goal came, and suddenly wanted the game to continue. And by then somewhere across the Daily Observer’s new offices, across from the Exclusive Super Store in Paynesville, songs glorifying Lone Star were in full blast to begin the celebration that went deeper into the night.
Said Musa Shannon, acting president of the Liberia Football Association in a telephone interview, “I congratulate the national team, the technical team, the Ministry of Youth & Sports for the success we have achieved against Guinea Bissau.”
Shannon said the building of a formidable Lone Star is the objective of the exercise to be able to grow from strength to strength.
The national team’s next assignment will be against the Elephants of the La Cote d’Ivoire in continuation of the qualifying series before the group stages for the 2018 World Cup.
Lone Star: Tommy Songo, Solomon Grimes, Dirkir Glay, Teah Dennis, Gizzie Dorbor, Anthony Laffor, Sam Johnson, Patrick Gerhadth, Oscar Dolley, William Jeboe.