Gbarnga, Bong County - Over 1,000 fans and sympathizers of Bong County, attired in their dominant orange colors celebrated their 2-1 victory over Lofa County in the opening match of the 2018 National County Sports meet at the David Kuyon Sports Stadium in Gbarnga City.
Saturday’s win was crucial for Bong County football team following their Kickball team 6-3 home runs defeat to Lofa County in front of their home fans, but Kulah Gornolor brace was enough to restore the confidence of the home supporters.
At the crowded stadium where the official kickoff was taken by the Chief Patron of Sports President George Weah, Bong started the game not convincing as much of the ball was played in the home side half but they made use of the cheering home fans and their experience to collect all three points from Lofa.
Gornolor got the match opener in the 17th minute after a through pass from teammate Emmanuel Shilliy, he controlled the ball well and placed it at the back of Lofa’s keeper Tommy Nimely net to send the entire stadium including Vice President Jowel Howard Taylor celebrating.
Lofa mounted pressure on Bong County to get the equalizer but their strike force proven to be wasteful ending the first half of an entertaining football match 1-0 to Bong County.
After the break, Lofa introduced a more attacking tactic resulting to them having more attempts on goal and controlled 60% of the ball than their opponents.
15 minutes into the second half Kulah Gornolor took advantage of Lofa keeper Tommy Nimely slow move to collect a free ball and added his second goal of the day in similar fashion to his first goal to seal his Bong victory.
Down 2-0 Lofa did not lost hope but continue their attacking style of play which pay off for them as they were awarded a penalty in closing stages of the match that was converted to end the game 2-1 in favor of Bong County.
Kulah Gornolor received the first man of the match award which is the first of its kind in county meet history in recent years for a player to be awarded man of the match.
He told the media that his goal is to qualify Bong County and win the championship.
“ I am happy with this result and will do my best as a striker to take Bong County to Monrovia and bring the trophy in Gbarnga.”
“This result is good for us, this victory is dedicated to the people of Bong county, we will do our best to make them proud,” he said.
In the second match of Group 1 Nimba narrowly defeated Grand Gedeh 1-0.
The Mountaineers did not convinced many supporters as they were outplayed by Grand Gedeh got the only goal of the match that separated the two teams through Peter Bleedi Jr in the 37 minutes.
Speaking to reporters after the match Bleedi Jr. said Grand Gedeh was a tough side but they were sure of a victory.
He said their victory was because of their collective effort from his teammates and will display more in their next game against Lofa County.
“Today’s game was great I must congratulate Grand Gedeh because they outplayed us but we got the only goal of the game which is important in a match”. Peter said.
In Kickball defending Champions Nimba County kick off their defend of their title with a 6-1 home runs victory of Grand Gedeh.
At the Doris Williams Sports Pitch in Buchanan, host Grand Bassa lost 0-1 home runs in Kickball against Rivercess while Bassa narrowly defeated Rivercess 1-0 in Football.
In other results, at the Momo Tarweh Sports Pitch,Grand Cape Mount came from a 1-0 inis down to beat Gbarpolu County 5-2 home runs in Kickball.
In Football, Grand Cape Mount defeated Gbarpolu 2-0.
And in group four, Grand Kru County manage a 1-0 win over their host Sinoe County to welcome President Weah to the presidency.
Grand Kru County also defeated Sinoe 2-0 home runs in Kickball.
In the day’s last match in Greenville, Maryland defeated Rivergee 8-3 home runs in Kickball while in football the two counties settled to a goalless draw.
The Competition will take a break to resume on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.
According to Tuesday's fixtures, in Group One, Grand Gedeh will battle Bong County in must win match for either sides in Kickball while in Football, Bong County will need just a draw to progress to Monrovia.
In Group two,Rivercess will take on County Meet Football defending Champions Montserrado in both Kickball and Football before Kickball giants and title favorite Margibi engage Grand Bassa County.
At the Momo Tarweh Sports Pitch in Robertsports,Grand Cape Mount County will be in search for draw as they play away to Bomi in both Kickball and Football.
And in Greenville City,Grand Kru County will host Maryland while Rivergee meet group host Sinoe.
Lofa County to pocket LD$1 million
Despite Lofa County football team first defeat of the National County Sports Meet they have been given a major boost by a son of the County Quiwu Pepci Yeke.
According to Mr. Yeke, the ‘Torgbogee Boys’ will pocket one million Liberian dollars should they clinch the soccer category of this year’s National County Sports Meet.
Yeke who is also the Executive Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) made the statement when he made an initial contribution of LD$ 100,000.00 to the county as part of preparation for the most followed national event in the country.
Making the donation, Yeke said the ‘Wologisi Boys’ deserve to be among the elite county teams in Liberia but because of the lack of support, the county usually finds it difficult to reach the knockout stage of the competition.
He wants authority of Lofa County to see sports as the only way to unite the county as such more financial support to the county is needed.
Yeke said he is optimistic that Lofa will triumph in this year County Meet.
He Lofaians his commitment that he is into this 2018 NCSM competition with his whole heart, adding, "I am with the Team tomorrow.”
Using a stone to kill two birds, the Yeke made his first public pronouncement to the media that he is an indomitable candidate for a seat on the Executive Committee of the Liberia Football Association (LFA).
The football passionate young Liberian administrator told Liberians through the media interaction on Thursday, March 29, 2018, that he is a positive change agent with full preparedness to transform the beautiful game in Africa's oldest independent republic which enviably produced the African continent's only FIFA World Best, the [President] George Weah.
The Executive Committee hopeful of the LFA asserted that he is ready for business, but not business as usual.
"Football has to change in this country, but it must be a positive change." LFA elections to see either new names emerging or the current ones retained takes place shortly, as guidelines and the list of qualified candidates have been published.
Quiwu, described as an open-hearted personality by former Georgian FC president Wilmot Smith, who is also a candidate for the Vice President for Operations post in upcoming LFA polls, told Journalists, envisages nothing less than a brighter future for football advancement and development.
Smith, the Deputy Director General for Dissemination and Outreach at the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-information Service (LISGIS), was present at the Quiwu Yeke press outlet, and provided answers to some of the Journalists' inquiries.
Receiving the amount, Lofa County Technical Director Ansu Jallah Kamara praised Yeke for the gesture.
He recorded it as the biggest donation the county has received so far for this year’s County Meet. Kamara encouraged all citizens of the county, especially top past and present government officials as well as top business personalities from the county to aid the county financially.
Kamara said with the selection of players for both the kickball and Football team they are hopeful of a great tournament.
“Our selection is great and the players are welling to play but without money we cannot perform well,” he said.
This year’s County Meet is played under the theme “Uniting Liberia after Elections through Sports,"
Lofa County is Group A alone with Bong County, Nimba and Grand Gedeh County.
The Boys of Lofa were beaten 2-1 by Bong County in their opening match on Saturday.