LISCR FC on Dec. 17 emerged winners of the LISCR Trust Tournament’s third edition (A pre-season tournament).
The Shipping Boys defeated Pags FC, Small Town FC and the NPA Anchors in the final. This triumph summed up the team’s trophy collection for 2017 to three after winning the previous two trophies (Championship and FA Cup) midway through the year.
The team’s performances showed their strength for the upcoming league season.
Though the team won the double-titles last season, they were faced with finishing touch hitches, and dodged a bullet sharing points instead of losing all three points. Part of the problems last season was the lack of skillful and forceful forwards to create goal scoring chances.
Subsequently, the team began to address those problems by bringing in new players on board. Mark Paye, Amadia Kawah, and the seven other new players seem to be the solution to the team’s problems. Two goals apiece from newly signed striker Mark Paye and forward Amadia Kawah combined with striker Christopher Jackson’s three goals also showed the team’s striking force.
Winning three matches and maintaining a clean sheet to win a preseason tournament is commendable. It shows that the team is prepared for their opponents coming after them, as said by head coach Tapha Manneh.
As is expected from every champion, the outcomes and team performance from LISCR is commendable and a great start for the double champions.
Nevertheless, a huge task lies ahead. Going into next season as champions, LISCR will be the target of their opponents and will be under pressure to defend their two titles and prove their status as double champions in the national league.
Most importantly, the tougher task is at the continental level.
On December 13, LISCR FC were drawn against Sudan’s most successful football club, Al-Hilal, in the preliminary rounds of the 2018 CAF Champions League during the draw held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
LISCR’s opponent is tough. Al-Hilal have appeared in the CAF tournament 31 times and have a huge home support.
Since the draw, LISCR’s page has been flooded with comments from Al-Hilal’s fans notifying LISCR of the stumbling block that they have to face.
At this point, the ‘Shipping Boys’ will no longer be playing only for their fans, but representing Liberia in Africa’s premier club football competition. Representing Liberia at that level is a huge task. New players have been brought on board, and the team has started the new league season on a promising path.
This will require teamwork form players, technical staff and fans for LISCR to stand their ground to overcome the huge tasks ahead.