Champion club LISCR FC will be welcoming their Sudanese counterparts, Al-Hilal Omdurman, on Feb. 11 in their CAF Championship League, but can they make use of home advantage and win the first left for President George Manneh Weah?
That question should interest every LISCR FC player, and they should remain positive for victory because of their recent one-week preparation in neighboring Sierra Leone.
True, the Sudanese champions have an interesting soccer history behind them in this particular competition, but they are also playing against Liberia for the first time, for which they should be coming with some doubts about their chances in the first leg.
Al-Hilal, from the Sudanese city of Omdurman, was organized in the 1930s. They own the 45,000 capacity Al-Hilal Stadium in Omdurman, which is much larger than the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex, which can accommodate 35,000 fans.
Of course, the Sudanese are excited to come and see the home of ex-soccer turned President George Weah because of his historic election victory and achievement that should inspire some of the players for their future.
In fact, many people, including the Sudanese, have wondered how Liberia, a country that has not made any significant impression on the continental soccer scene, was able to produce the most important soccer player in all Africa. And also how could it be possible that because of his inspiring performances in Europe, 61 percent of Liberians considered him recently as the most qualified person to lead the country?
While there are so many questions about the whys and why nots of President Weah’s exploits in Europe, the best that LISCR FC can do to complete the wonder is to win their first leg on Feb. 16.
Coach Tapha Manneh needs no one to tell him that the crowning effort of his sacrifices for the club is here. All he should be concerned with is how to win, and dedicate the victory to President Weah. The coach knows his boys are talented, so all they need is encouragement and the willingness to, as it is said in the soccer world, die a little for the country and for themselves.
The Antoinette Tubman Stadium could be the avenue to change the course of Liberian football. The secret to all this is that a LISCR FC victory will give the players the privilege and honor of their president, who took on the world and won every individual honor and title to be won, being proud of them.
Another secret is: victory will make the return-leg in Omdurman a mere formality, and it will give the Liberians another opportunity to move on to the next level to showcase their talents.