Disappointing Start for Liberia At WAFU
Monrovia – It was a disappointing start to the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Under 20 tournament for host Liberia as they were beaten by La Cote d’Ivoire in the opening match on Tuesday, April 24.
Report by A. Macauley Sombai, [email protected]
The Liberia national football team, Lone Star U-20, squad was humiliated in front of their President, Chief Patron of Sport, George Weah, and home fans 0-3 by La Cote d’Ivoire U-20 squad at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville City.
The Ivorians were deserved winners due to their dominance of the game from the start to its end as the Christopher Wreh men were seen running after their own images.
The visitors’ participation in the tournament came as a result of Cape Verde’s withdrawal from the tournament kickstart the match with high pressure against the defense of Lone Star.
The first real attempt on goal came in the 5th minute of the match through Aboubacar Doumba but his shot from close range went off the post for a goal kick to the Junior Lone Star Boys.
Lone Star winger Sam Jackson came close to getting the match opener in the 8th minute after a killer pass from teammate David Tweh but Jackson’s tactical kicked was denied by the Ivorian shoot stopper, Mohammed Ouatiara.
The junior elephants kept Lone Star under immense pressure as a 20 minute strike from Yalatif Diabate travelled an inch from the goal.
Abdoulaye Kone’s terrific shot from the edge of Lone Star’s 18th yard box in the 44th minute was blocked by Gasimu Kouyateh ending the first half goalless.
Things began to go the wrong way for the home side in the 50th minute after striker Yalatie Diabate got the match opening goal for the Ivorians through a perfect placement.
Aboubacar Doumba could have increased the visitors’ lead in the 61st minute but his header went far from goal.
The visitors kept the Lone Star defense under immense pressure up to the 63rd minute when Diomande Tidiau missed another scoring chance for his side after been denied by goalkeeper Ashey Williams, who made several spectacular saves in both halves of the game.
Down by a goal, Christopher Wreh brought in Sekou Sherriff for John Jaysay, who gave out the first goal to the Elephants while Edward Ledlum was substituted for Musa Kebbeh but their presence could not help the Red White and Blue boys from losing in a disgraceful minor at home.
Striker Yalatie increased Lone Star’s frustration in the 77th minute through a perfect placement and Tabil Wally Bratiano hit in the third goal in the 83rd minute to end the match 3-0 in favor of the visitors.
In the second game Sierra Leone scored two first-half goals to defeat Guinea Bissau 2-1 in group one of the competition.
The Leone Stars will face La Cote d’Ivoire in their second game of the competition while Liberia will face Guinea Bissau.
Liberia will have to win their next two games against Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau if they must reach the second round of the tournament.
On today the tournament will continue with Senegal facing Mali in the kick match of group 2 while Guinea and Gambia will close the day’s action.
According to the organizers of the tournament two teams will qualify from each group to play in the quarterfinal.
The tournament Runs from April 24 -May 6, 2018.