Liberia’s home-based National team is on the verge of elimination from the 2023 African Nations Championship following a heartbreaking 3-0 defeat against the Terranga Lions of Senegal.
The Lions mask man, Bouly Shambou’s lone goal in the 14th minute, and two quick goals from Jean Diouf in the 31st and 33rd minutes put them in the driving seat of qualifying to the next stage.
But Liberia can still qualify for the next stage with a 4-0 win in Darkar on 30 July in the return fixture.
The match took place on Sunday, July 24, 2022, at the refurbished SKD Sports Complex with Chief Patron of Sports, President George Weah in attendance. This defeat is Liberia’s heaviest on home soil in almost 18 years.
The last time, Liberia lost at home with the same score was back in 2004 against same Senegal in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the same venue. Meanwhile, Liberia’s stand-in Coach for the match, Ansu Keita said he was impressed with his team displayed despite a 3-0 defeat.
Coach Keita made the remarks at a post-match news conference. According to Coach Keita, despite the defeat, he was proud of the performance of his boys. He said the team will gradually improve in the later days, adding that, the defeat was the result of mistakes made in the first half but they came back stronger in the 2nd half.
” I can assure you that we will come back stronger next time. We are on a building process which I believe that we can produce positive results in the future, Coach Keita said”.
This match was the country’s first home game since 2019 when the Lone Star defeated Chad 1-0 in the preliminary qualifiers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. Thanks to Kpah Sherman’s first-half goal. After this match, the stadium got banned from hosting competitive International matches due to its failure to meet the current day FIFA and CAF stadium requirements.
But the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports managed to work out things in the right direction which resulted in a revised decision earlier. Following that, President George Mannah Weah officially dedicated the playing pitch which was one of the cardinal reasons for which the stadium was banned.
That dedication took place on Saturday, July 23, 2022, the eve of the match between Liberia and Senegal. They had a heated soccer battle between SOEs and PCs which SOE won 2-0 with President Weah serving as coach of the winning side.
On Sunday, July 24, 2022, President Weah was seated at the VIP stands to watch the match between Liberia and Senegal with the hope of seeing his boys winning, but what was demonstrated did not in any way prove that the home-based Lone Star was prepared.
According to our reporter, who covered the match said, the local Lone Star was outplayed in all directions. He said Lone star only produced one possible shot on target in the entire 90minutes of play.
Reported by Sports Director: Sylvester Tamba
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