Liberia’s football giants, BYC II drew goalless at home in a friendly Good Friday Football encounter at the Blue Field on Friday.
The match is the first between the two archrivals since the suspension of all football activities on Sunday, July 27, 2014 due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The game proved difficult for LISCR FC as the Go Blue Boys showed much tenacity and dominated the match in the presence of a handful of LISCR fans.
The game was like a one-way street leading to a dead end, though Coach Robert Larteh’s boys dominated possession and territory, but repeatedly ran into the brick wall mounted by the Coach Francis Sarploh’s defence.
BYC striker Chris Momo, in the 8th minute had the first chance to wobble the net, but he flanked the ball wide and goal puncher Van-Dave Harmon couldn’t find his scoring boots.
Attacking midfielder Prince Saydee, dubbed Nani was unlucky to finish a pass in the box as he pointlessly jolted the ball.
One of Gideon Williams’ two shots – a long and tricky shot in the 29 yard put LISCR goalie Tommy Songo in mischief as he unintentionally hit the stick while diving to save a wide ball and second-choice goalie Prince Wlame was introduced.
The visitors showed some lesser remarkable impressions with the duo, skipper Mohammed Varney and Stephen Seameh on the frontline of the 4-4-2’s diamond pattern.
Varney’s words of whipping BYC II 3-1, and scoring at least two of the goals, didn’t materialize as the captain Francis Jallabah’s defense was sealed.
The lone progressive striker, Varney made inroads into the rival box and was the constant threat but wouldn’t solve the puzzle to the net as goalie Allenton Sembeh, too was up to the task in the closing stages of the first half.
Right winger and physically powerful Dominic Jlateh also was a trouble in the rivals’ box but the cohesive defense of BYC lessened his strength.
During the first half, LISCR put up an aggressive performance with substitute Prince Wleh nearly finding the net, hitting the ball on the stick. BYC goalie Sembeh too made a diving save to put out Barshalll’s stiff grounder.
New signees defender Grosso Sloboh replaced Emmanuel Tarpeh, while Lassana Kanneh was substituted for midfielder Terrance Jones and James Richardson went in for Dominic Jarteh.
For the host, Alvin Maccornel was replaced by Prince Jetoh to renew their defense and Alpha James came in for Karlea Anderson.
Chris Momo, who plays in Cameroon was replaced by another, and workaholic MarK Paye was replaced by Molley Paye.
Long shooter Junior Barshall would not get the winning goal as he did against FC Fassell during the Super Cup, as LISCR’s goalie Prince Wlame wasn’t playful between the sticks.
The Go Blue Boys did everything they could to spring LISCR’s defensive lock, but Coach Sarploh’s side was organized, rigid and ensured there was no space for the opposition to operate, even when the ball got within the 18 meters of their goal.
A die-hard fan of LISCR, Samuel Jackson said the new pattern of static defense helped the team because the defense didn’t go in sometimes to attack.
Deputy Coach of LISCR, Cooper M. Sannah attributed the unimpressive display to match rustiness.
“We resumed practice a little over two months after being out of play for nine month months,” Coach Sannah said.
Jasper Nah, die-hard BYC fan said: “We dominated the game 55-45 with more shots at goals, and LISCR came back in the second half for a short while and the middle was interchangeably controlled with their long passes.”
Meanwhile, in the previous game, BYC I’s feeder team, BYC II whipped LISCR feeder team, Gardnersville FC 3-0.
After the goalless first half, Randy Dukuly was replaced with George Daouda who drew the first blood in the 49th minute through a penalty-kick. Another substitute player, Sam Jackson who took over from Joekie Flomo, increased the tally in the 61st minute and Wonder boy Jerry Sackor sealed the score 3-0 in the 83rd minute.