Nimba County yesterday forced last year’s semi-finalists Montserrado County to a 2-2 draw in their preliminary rounds in the group two of the 2016-2017 National County Sports Meet. However in the kickball encounter between the two counties, Nimba won 6-1.
Montserrado took an early lead through inside left Mark Yarkpah who headed the ball into Nimba’s net in the 14th minute. The Mountainous Boys (Nimba) intensified their attacks and in the 22nd minute found the equalizer from the penalty spot.
Both sides applied all their efforts thereafter to take the lead but were unsuccessful till the end of the first half. Upon resumption both teams again increased in their respective attacks but had to wait till the 80th minute when Montserrado took the lead 2-1.
Silence fell at the Sanniquellie stadium as Nimbaians could not understand the trend of the game but somehow remained hopeful that their boys could avoid defeat. However, some fans expressed their frustration and began to leave the field, with 15 minutes more to go.
Throwing caution to the wind, the Mountainous Boys redoubled their efforts and many fans saw that they were determined to avoid the defeat that seemed at the horizon. However Nimba County could not break the ice till injury time when substitute Daniel Tuazama found the equalizer.
Early in the first game Sinoe County settled to a 0-0 draw with River Cess, while the girls of Sinoe won 8-1 points in the kickball match.
Meanwhile, Nimba Coach Muta Fofana reassured Nimba County’s fans that his boys would make smile in their remaining games. He said first game with Montserrado was tough for his boys because most of the players were playing their first major competitive game, and secondly Mountserrado is not a push over team.
However, some Nimba fans criticized the technical team for keeping a player who was not performing well on the field for too long, before replacing him.
“We have more talented players on the squad, but they kept them on the bench too long,” said Odesious Dolo. “See what happened, the man who was brought in the last minute was able to find the equalizer.”
Other games scheduled for yesterday included two times’ football champions, Grand Bassa County against Gbarpolu County, in both football and kickball in Robertsport and Lofa County Margibi County in Voinjama. Their results were not till press time.
The preliminary stage continues on Tuesday, December 6 and ends on Thursday, December 8 in four venues – Voinjama, Sanniquellie, Harper and Robertsports.