The dream of the Liberia national soccer team, the Lone Star, to win their crucial away encounter against the Congolese national team in Brazzaville yesterday remained a dream. They were beaten 3-1.
The match was a crucial one for Liberia because it was to determine whether Liberia was sure to go to another African Nations Cup Championship.
Center referee Abdullahi Shuaibu, linesman number one Abel Baba and linesman number two Samuel Pwadutakan, were all from Nigeria.
The match was played at the Alphonse Massamba Debat in the capital of Congo, Brazzaville.
As stated earlier, the game was crucial to Liberia, and winning the match yesterday would have been a big boost for the team. But they did not. What happened Lone Star failed to show their dominance in the game?
The score-line of 3-1 at the end of a grueling 90 minutes indicate that Congolese were more aggressive for goals (they got 3) as Lone Star fought back with much effort by William Jebor.
And at least on three occasions in the second half, Jebor proved that he is a player with strength.
With a loss to Zimbabwe, a draw to DR Congo and the massive loss to Congo (yesterday), it would appear that Lone Star’s dream for Cameroon in 2019 is over.
Congo got their third goal through a set piece. A Lone Star defender on the right-back had a challenge with a Congolese striker. During the challenge on the ball, the Lone Star was flatly beaten and the camera showed him pulling at the Congolese striker’s jersey. It was a case of desperation because the player had anticipated trouble!
In a split second the Congolese player was leaving the Liberian player behind and whether he held on to the striker’s jersey because he was falling down or he had seen danger coming, the end result was that foul was called on him.
With thousands of home fans cheering for more goals as the minutes ticked by, the Congolese player kicked the ball high across the goalpost and, with the Liberian players outpaced, the ball flew across with two Congolese strikers supporting each other.
Lone Star’s goalkeeper Jimmy Songo placed himself in a position (middle of the goalpost) waiting to spring at the ball. Sadly, the ball did not go straight to Songo’s direction but across to where the two Congolese strikers had taken their positions.
As the ball descended, the Congolese striker soared to meet the ball and struck the ball with his head toward the left side of the goalpost.
When goalkeeper Songo saw the direction of the ball, in desperation, he went for it, but his effort reached him there too late.
The ball was already in the net and the Congolese were celebrating. Songo, who had performed, did not have an answer to the goals.
The Congolese took advantage of set-pieces and won big. But look, William Jebor, as usual, played a yeoman’s role. I salute him.
It was, however, Sam Johnson who scored Lone Star’s consolation goal.
Today, these are some of the games: Cameroon vs. Malawi; Togo vs. The Gambia; Angola vs. Mauritania; Gabon vs. South Sudan; Cape Verde vs. Tanzania: Guinea vs. Rwanda; Mali vs. Burundi and Algeria vs. Benin.
CAF canceled Ghana’s game against Sierra Leone, which was scheduled for yesterday because of the Sierra Leonean government’s interference in the affairs of the Sierra Leonean Football Association.