With the recent pain following the failure of national soccer team coaches to rescue a broken midfield to have defended their 2-0 against Togo fresh on their minds, coaches of the Terminators FC of APM Terminals, George Paintsil and Abraham Cooper (Nyonkon), when faced with a similar situation, reintroduced an effective strategy in the midfield that ensured they won 3-1 against Caucus Inactive Organization of Chicken Soup Factory yesterday at the NPA sports field in Monrovia.
Caucus’s left winger Stephen Fallah, who was strategically placed on the right wing, after several attempts, secured the opener with a grounder after the water-logged field misdirected a pass midway in the second half.
Though the Terminators FC had better ball control and pushed their visitors around, it was Caucus that had the better side, leading 1-0 before the end of the first half.
Realizing what was amiss, George Jikpamu came in from the bench to change the face of the game, and it was a reminiscence of what did not happen against Togo, a week ago.
While both coaches and ex NPA goal hunter Armah Baxter cried that their midfield had broken, Jikpamu, with energy and speed, came in with the greatest upset.
“George is a hard runner with enough stamina,” admitted coach Paintsil, at the end of the match after his timely substitution paid off.
The skillful Jikpamu, once trained with Jubilee FC, and had a friendly stint in Freetown, Sierra Leone, had the game wrapped up when he made use of two chances that came his way. They were similar to the chances that international striker Francis Doe fumbled repeatedly against Togo on June 5.
Caucus’s Fallah, who became a thorn in the flesh of APM Terminators, was substituted when he was brought down in one of his ceaseless runs into the opponent’s goal area; and that ended his game.
With Fallah out of the way, APM Terminators began a non-stop action with substitute Jikpamu, Caucus’s tormentor–in-chief – every ball he handled caused Caucus’ coach Jonathan Ramble Sr. additional headache.
And like the tragedy of the Lone Star coaches against Togo, Ramble could not initiate any effective strategy to prevent APM’s hungry strikers, led by Jikpamu to halt their onslaught.
So when defender Koffa Mwah’s powerful shot gave his side one to even the scores, it was Jikpamu’s turn to teach the visitors how goals are scored.
Jikpamus cleverly connected a goal to add his side’s goals to 2-1; and while against the run of play, he exposed the defensive weakness of Caucus, and pumped his second goal to win the friendly match that boosted his side’s morale.
With Jikpamu’s ability to hit the back of the net with precision when he was between defenders, many said he could be a player to watch because he demonstrated he has an impressive future in soccer.
It was learned that Jikpamu is among a large army of young footballers who have decided to focus their attention on other fields due to the unattractiveness of what they could earn from local football.
“I am thinking about my soccer future,” Jikpamu told the Daily Observer at the end of the match, “I love the game.” And that leaves the door open for interested coaches to check on this exceptional player who many of his teammates told the Daily Observer could be a star in the making.