Mark Paye powers BYC to Liberia’s Football Championship
Monrovia – Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) have won the Liberia Football Association (LFA) 2016 first division league with two games to spare.
Report by: Christopher C. Walker, [email protected]
But they had to labor to beat ELWA United 2-1, having come from a goal down, to send their supporters into ecstasy.
Kertu Jerbo, who is poised to become an FC Fassell striker, got the match opener in the 19 minute with a powerful 25-yard shot that easily beat veteran goalie Mulbah Urey.
Before that goal, BYC midfielder Benjamin Gbamy hit the crossbar in the seventh while striker Prince Saydee’s attempt was hit on the bar by United goalie.
With a goal up and playing under heavy rains, ELWA, who are relegation- threatened, created some heart-breaking moments for BYC fans including President Sekou Konneh and chief executive officer Robert Alvin Sirleaf.
In the 30th minute, “goal machine” and LFA leading scorer Mark Paye got the equalizer after some good and skillful plays by Saydee, who beat two defenders before his shot was saved by the keeper but Paye was in the right position to tap home the ball.
The home side mounted more pressure on ELWA as Claudius Morris, David Tweh and Saydee could have increased the score but their efforts were miscalculated or saved by the goalie.
Thirty six minutes into the match, Paye saw a close range header parried away for a corner but his second header made it 2-1 a minute later.
Paye, who was recruited while playing for Nimba County and came through the developmental programs at BYC, has scored 16 goals in 16 matches.
After the break, United fought hard to get the equalizer but the well managed defensive team of coach Cooper Sannah stood their ground in maintaining their 100-percent undefeated record at home.
It was a strategy that paid-off with defensive midfielders Gideon Williams and Terry Sackor to replace Gbamy and Paye while Albert Nimely came on for David Tweh. Nimely could have put his name on the score sheet but was twice denied by the goalie.
BYC were back to back champions before Nimba United stole the show last season. It is Go Blue Boys’ third championship in five years.
With 43 points from 18 matches, none of the 10 teams can equal BYC’s 43 points at the end of the season. Fassell FC, who are second with two games, have 34 points.