Lone Star leaves for Mauritania today
Coach James Salinsa Debbah may be asking himself so many questions as his boys failed to “show their juice” last Sunday in the first leg of the African Cup of Nations at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
With a two goal advantage, the local Lone Star players and Coach Debbah may have realized that once the battle was not won at home in the first leg, it may darn near be impossible to win away.
That position comes from the team’s poor away history; that is if they have one. The regular Lone Star that is filled with Liberian professionals is yet to find one, as the past away games never produced wins.
And that makes the task on Sunday in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital, a difficult assignment for the Liberian side. Although they may be the underdogs, they may have the trump card for the game.
Having lost 0-2 and wasted a penalty, the Liberian side will be fighting, as if for their lives, like a man who is drowning.
“The one who is down fears no fall” is an adage that clearly fits the situation. It is veteran coach Josiah N. Johnson, credited to have said that “football is like a biscuit,” that should be quoted here. Ever tried to break a little portion of a biscuit when you were a kid to share with a friend or sibling? It broke at an unexpected angle, didn’t it? And that is somehow what happens in sports, as veteran coach Johnson (Masayo) has noted when he coached the national team for 15 years.
For many who think Lone Star’s trip to Mauritania would amount to a disgrace, the players know that it is in such difficulties that they should put up their best performance.
Since they showed a lot of disorganization in the first leg, they should now approach the game in Mauritania with caution and with much better organization. Pushing the ball from one player to another must be done with a purpose, and the strikers should be prepared and ambitious when the ball is lobbed in their direction.
The Mauritanians reportedly prepared for at least four months for this particular game, while our players trained for a week.
While many of us are not convinced that our boys can score more than three goals against their opponents, Coach Debbah should come up with a plan that would make the Mauritanians appreciate our kind of football at the end of 90 minutes of play on Sunday.
All we can wish for the boys is a good game; and therefore, good luck!