The Wologisi Boys of Lofa County yesterday narrowly defeated Bopolu Boys of Gbarpolu 1-0 in a 121 minute challenging football encounter at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
Lofa’s sturdy skipper’s header in the 102th minute – 12th minute in the extra time qualified Lofa to join Bong and Bassa counties.
Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, former Foreign Minister Augustus K. Ngafuan and LACE Executive Director Julius Sele were in the stands to cheer against Gbarpolu County.
Gbarpolu’s goalie Jerry Vah was the man of the match owing to his exceptional saves, while skipper Kortu Brown managed the turf in the defense and aided in the midfield which gave his side an edge over Lofa in ball possession and attempt at goal.
The Bopolu side through players Alvin Nyumah and Patrick Kamara blew their chances in front of the goal twice, in both halves, while Ahmed Fulkton would not twist his head to jab goalie Tanner and net a goal in the 46th minute.
Lofa’s left winger Stephen Dunor was outstanding in dribbling but had very poor clinical tactics.
Varkumah Dolley and Mamadee Traora also failed miserably due to faulty passes and less ball control.
In the second half, Lofa replaced Jacob Korlor with Mamadee; Lasanna Kamara substituted Dolley and David Selma came in for Dunor.
As for Gbarpolu, though they continued to control the ball and made some substitutions, cutting edge was still lacking. Players Paye Karpan substituted Taweh Zah; Alpanso Nah replaced Kamara and Ahmed sat for Vam Sanny.
Vice President Boakai could not be reached for comment after the game, because immediately Lofa rattled the net, the Vice President happily left the field.
The President of Liberia Business Association (LIBA) Dee Maxwell Kamayah thanked the players for the win and stressed that the county will only succeed in the County Meet, if the players are determined.
On Wednesday, he gave the equivalent of US$1,200 to the team for preparation. Lofa County’s Steve Zargo also hailed the team.
Gbarpolu County Superintendent Armah Sarnoh said their defeat to Lofa did not hurt much because Lofa gave birth to Gbarpolu.
“It was mother and daughter game,” Mr. Sarnoh said.
However, in the kickball version, Montserrado County whipped Grand Kru, 3-2 points and joined Nimba and Bassa for the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, on Saturday the Putu girls and boys of Grand Gedeh are expected to lock horns with the Bopolu girls and Mesurado boys of Montserrado County for the last semifinals.