LISCR FC have been knocked out of the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup despite beating Algerian club USM Bel Abbes 1-0 in the return leg of their preliminary match yesterday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
LISCR lost the first-leg 4-0 away from home in Algeria, putting them in a difficult position ahead of the return-leg yesterday, but the ‘Shipping Boys’ were upbeat of securing the result that could have qualified them to the next round of the competition.
Unfortunately, midfielder Sekou Sheriff’s lone goal was not enough for LISCR to progress to the First Round of the African inter-club competition. As it was earlier disclosed by coach Tapha Manneh, yesterday’s squad was different from the previous squad that lost in Algeria.
Coach Manneh made seven changes in his team, introducing goalkeeper Tommy Songo, Benjiman Doe, Daniel Woto, Allen Njie, Sam Jackson, Varney Sando and striker Kelvin Kollie upfront as his point striker.
LISCR were on top from the start of the game, keeping the Algerian side on their back-foot, as they maintained their attacking posture. The first opportunity for LISCR to get the opener came in the 6th minute after defender Emmanuel Tarpeh traveled from his center-back position to send in a powerful header from left-back Daniel Woto’s cross, but the 2017 LFA “Best Defender” award winner’s header went past the crossbar.
Ten minutes later, striker Kelvin Kollie put forward Edward Ludlum’s through, but goalkeeper Sofiane Khedairia was in the best position to deny the striker on a one-on-one challenge.
The match kicked off at 2:00 PM, and the hot climatic condition was a challenge for the Algerians, but with four goals advantage, they kept their defensive attitude to prevent the home side from scoring additional goals.
On the other hand, LISCR capitalized on the climate condition and kept creating goal scoring chances. It took 30 minutes for the deadlock to be broken after Sheriff swung in a superb left-foot shot from close range. Sheriff was assisted by forward Ledlum after goalkeeper Khedairia punched a cross from Daniel Woto.
LISCR could have scored additional goals in the first half, but experienced goalkeeper Khedairia was in the best positions to save shots from forward Ledlum and striker Kollie.
The visitors’ lone opportunity in the half was in the 36th minute after they tried to get the equalizer, but thanks to goalkeeper Songo for a brilliant save.
In the final half of the match coach, Manneh introduced more attackers to get additional goals, but the visitors, who were making their debut in the CAF Confederation Cup resolute did not budge to the end of the match.
In his post-match interview, coach Manneh said he was satisfied with his team’s performance, but expressed disappointment in the result. He reemphasized that the climatic condition and the preparation during the first-leg were contributing factors that led to his team exiting the competition.
For the visitors, coach Bouzidi said he was satisfied with the result because his team had four goals in the first-leg.