Monrovia – Liberia national football team the Lone Star again failed to secure a win in its ambition to make it to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, suffering defeat at home to the Cape Verde Island.
Coach Peter Butler’s men on Thursday were defeated 2-1 by the Blue Sharks at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Islanders came from a goal down to collect all three points to take on Cape Verde Island as with Jamiro Gregory Monteiro and Garry Rodrigues getting the goals in the second half.
Albanian-based Liberian striker Van-Dave Harmon gave Lone Star a lifeline to the 2022 Qatar 2022 World Cup on the stroke of half time.
Early on in the 14th minute Hellberg cross was blocked for a corner resulting in a corner but Harmon was adjudged for a foul on the Blue Sharks’ goalkeeper.
In the 25th minute Sherman’s long low range effort was easily saved by the Cape Verde goalkeeper which was eventually the first shot on target of the match.
The 46tht real chance came to Liberia as Harmon defense-splitting pass threads diagonally through to Sherman who had time, space, and angle but poorly placed the ball to the falling goalkeeper to the disbelieved of the Lone Star technical and Liberians.
The 47th Seconds after, Van-Dave Harmon got the curtain raiser inside the box on the turn from 11 yards thanks to debutant Moussa Sanoh cross from the right byline.
The debutant reversed his pass for Harmon whose first touch was excellent and turned it off with a right footed volley that took a deflection off a defender before rolling in at the near post on the stroke of halftime.
Back from the break the Blue Sharks mounted pressure on Lone Star until they finally got the equalizer later on in the 52nd minute through J. Monteiro.
The midfielder blasts high into Williams goal from 13 yards after a sumptuous cutback from the left byline.
Things got worse for Liberia in the 57th minute when Harmon got injured and was stretchered out leaving Butler with the option to bring on Ayouba Kosiah.
The injured Harmon was brought off for Kosiah and Brem Soumaoro came on for Hellberg.
66′ Sanoh, the debutant and architect of the Lone Star goal got replaced by winger Terrence Tisdell.
The home team got lively in the 81st minute with a good combination play between Tisdell and Sherman as the latter briefly returns a pass to the forward who fired from inside the box but his effort got parried away by the Blue Sharks’ goalkeeper which was the best chance of the second half for Butler’s men.
With seconds away from the sound of the final whistle the Sharks G. Rodriguez gave his side the lead and first win of the qualifiers.
The 30-year-old weaves his move through the middle with a wriggling run before unleashing a ferocious drive that beat Williams from nearly 30 yards out.
The two sides will meet again on the Island in the return leg this Sunday as the Blue Sharks go second in the group two points adrift group leaders.
Speaking to the media at the post-match conference Butler said he takes responsibility for the team’s defeat.
“I take responsibility for the result but I think Ashley should have done better with the last goal. It is what it is.”
“I don’t think we deserve to lose the game.” Butler said.
According to the Liberian coach his team started the game slowly but also did not deserve to win the game.
Butler said it is not easy playing on a neutral venue because it is a 50/50 game,but playing at home you get the fans who push the team to perform well.
In the other group match Super Eagles of Nigeria got beaten in their own backyard 0-1 by the Central African Republic.
Central African Republic left it late to upset the Nigerian with the only goal coming in the 91st minute of the match.
The results means Liberian is at the bottom of the group with three followed by Central African Republic and Cape Verde with four points each and Nigeria with six points.