The 2-1 loss of Terminators FC of APM Terminals last Sunday against LAC Defenders FC in Grand Bassa County in a friendly soccer match revealed one thing to the visitors: the ability to play as a team.
This was more so after LAC Defenders’ inside right Saygon John pushed his men forward with repeated harassment in the visitors’ defensive zone that caused goalkeeper Lawrence Washington more troubles as his right back Magako Kumeh and left back Benedict Teah struggled to find their rhythm.
Though coach Joseph Sion, known during his playing days as Kofi Bruce, had plotted a strategy to bring the visitors down, which eventually came through Saygon John in the 25th minute when goalie Washington failed to grab his shot the first time, enabling the striker hit the back of the net with the goalie completely stranded, it was apparent that some level of fatigue had worked against Terminators FC.
“We rode from Monrovia direct to LAC about 4 hours,” said an official of Terminators FC, “and we went right on the pitch to honor the match.” It was initially seen when hard-running striker Nicholas Sieh fumbled on his first ball, coupled with a rough pitch that made his ball control difficult. The initial exchanges did not give any problems to the home team in this half, as they hunted for goals that kept goalkeeper Washington busy.
With 1-0 lead, the home team did not look back and pressed on their attacks. In their drive, left winger Lucretius Victor, inside left Saygon John, center forward Tengbeh Tambah and right winger Christer Bestman were having a field day.
With their teeming fans cheering them in this half, they probed for goals that the visitors struggled to deny them. There were few flashes of seriousness from the visitors but they had to wait in the second half to draw the crowd on their side. The home team led the first half 1-0.
Back from recess, LAC Defenders kept on the pressure and in the 48th minute, Terminator FC’s goalkeeper Washington could not decide whether to rush on a ball or not, allowing LAC Defender’s left winger Lucretius Victor an easy job when he lobbed the ball over his head to increase the tally to 2-0.
The visitors began a new pattern of play, following the replacement of goalie Washington with ‘Chinese Goalie’ Jonathan Dambo. Initial strikes from the home team found a wall in Dambo and his performance gave his team-mate some confidence.
Striker Nicholas Sieh played a supportive role, covering up when it was necessary on several fronts with assistance from inside left John Mayson, center forward Jumah Kollie and diminutive player Dakina Pederson.
With their opponents resorting to man to man passes that delighted the crowd, LAC Defenders had to work overtime to prevent any damage as they were very often caught off guard but it was the visitors’ John Mason who scored the consolation goal in the 67th minute. It became apparent that the team had been rejuvenated, as the home crowd cheered every move the visitors made.
But it was the home team, despite the difficulty to reorganize their attacks that got a goal that was cancelled because it was scored from an offside position as the game wore on. And from here it was the visitors that dictated the pace of the game when it was too late as the game was brought to the end by the central referee in a match that was played in celebration of July 26.
APM Terminals (The Terminators FC): L. Washington (J. Dambo), Makago Kumeh, Benedict Teah, Sarr Bonner, Jeremiah Cole, Roland Coleman, Nicholas Sieh, John Mayson, Jumah Kollie, Oliver Kun, Dakina Pederson, Pepsi Carter, Jacob Dorbor, Rufus Doe.
LAC Defenders: Cartlon Gray, Francis Kollie, Terrence Mulbah, Fayiah Saah, Emmanuel Gleh, Joeboy Halloway, Christer Bestman, Emmanuel Thomas, Tengbeh Tamba, Luc Victor, Saygon John.