It was the result of the return leg World Cup match against the Black Stars of Ghana on July 1, 2001 that changed the face of Liberian football.
The Lone Stars had matched to Ghana and before thousands of homes fans won 3-1 on Jan. 28, 2001.
The return-leg in Monrovia was supposed to have been a piece of cake, for it was evident that the Black Stars did not even believe that there was any method in the world of soccer that would change their fortunes.
At the time, George Weah served as the team’s technical director as well as a player.
Then what happened? There were parties and though a wedding was coming up, complacency had set in and beating Ghana of all countries at home was enough to give our players a hope for victory, even before the return-leg was played.
The celebration began before the two-leg winner could be announced.
And the end of that frustrating encounter is history now. Unfortunately, out of Liberians’ frustration, an unfounded allegation reared its head that director Weah apparently sold the game.
A similar situation faces the national team as the Lone Star travels to Djibouti City for the first leg of what could determine their fate in the 2017 African Cup of Nations on March 24 and the return leg in Monrovia five days later.
Lone Star has three points from their previous two games, losing to Togo and defeating Tunisia at home, and winning against Djibouti will increase the team’s chance of qualifying for the continental celebration.
What gives the national team a great deal of confidence is the fact that Djibouti has lost their previous two games to Tunisia and Togo.
Winning the two leg encounters against Djibouti could be the final decider since the team would have Togo to contend with before the final match against Tunisia in Tunis.
The two-leg encounters could be Lone Star’s finest hours, and they dare not fail.
Lone Star: Goalkeepers: Tommy Songo (LISCR, Liberia), Samson Giddings (FC Fassell, Liberia), James Gally (Watanga FC, Liberia)
Defenders: Solomon Grimes (Nea Salamis Famagusta, Cyprus), Trokon Zeon (LPRC Oilers, Liberia), Gizzie Dorbor (HapoelAfula, Israel), Hilton Varney (Barrack Young Controllers, Liberia), Teah Dennis (Al-Ahli, Jordan), Dirkir Glay (Mpumalanga Black Aces, South Africa), Omega Roberts (FK Donji Srem, Serbia), Alvin Macconough (Barrack Young Controllers, Liberia)
Midfielders: Alseny Keita (Jeanne d’Arc de Drancy, France), Dulee Johnson (Molde FK, Norway), Anthony Laffor (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Theo Weeks (Ermis Aradippou, Cyprus), Dioh Williams (Gefle IF, Sweden), Zah Kranga (FELDA United, Malaysia), Tonia Tisdell (Karabukspor, Turkey), Kpah Sherman (Santos, South Africa), Melvin George (Hantharwady United FC, Myanmar), Marcus Macauley (Al Ahli, Jordan)
Forwards: William Jebor (SD Ponferradina, Spain), Sam Johnson (Djurgardens, Sweden), Patrick Wleh (Selangor FA, Malaysia), Sekou Conneh (Bethlehem Steel FC, USA)