Monrovia – It was another below-par performance for the Liberia national football team as they were stunned at home by the Flames of Malawi, losing 1-0 on the opening day in the Group stage of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. It’s now been 19 years since the senior national team won its opening Group match in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
BY: Christopher C. Walker, [email protected] 0777898224/0886723075
Liberian football fans have called on the Liberia Football Association to immediately dismiss Lone Star’s head coach, Ansumana Keita. The hundreds of fans who felt let down on Friday when Liberia suffered a 1-0 defeat to Malawi in their first Group H game of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers at the SKD Sports Complex left the stadium in total frustration and disappointment. They had hoped that the nation’s pride and joy could secure a win at home.
The game between both countries was the fourth meeting, with Liberia winning two, drawing one, and losing one. Following the unexpected defeat, the atmosphere in Paynesville was tense, with downhearted fans expressing their frustration by preventing the post-match press conference. Chants of “Fire him! Fire him!” echoed throughout the stadium as fans expressed their dissatisfaction over the team’s poor performance and emphasized that the defeat was unacceptable.
“Keita go, we tired. Keita go, we want Debbah, we don’t want Keita,” the fans went on singing. Passionate supporters like Philip Johnson voiced their concerns, stating that the team needs to be pressured to improve and make its fans proud once again. Coach Keita’s incompetence was further exposed by his third home defeat at the SKD since taking over. The future of Coach Keita as Lone Star head Coach remains uncertain with the team’s recent performances and results. Since Keita took over Lone Star as head coach, he has played 6 games, losing five and drawing one.
According to pundits of Liberian football, the Lone Star displayed no excitement in their game, noting that the team showed signs of fatigue, making the fans also feel tired. Fan Korto Nyan said, “This defeat is a big lesson for the Lone Star that the coach isn’t worth being a head coach.” Nyan further said the coach’s tactics are finished considering the substitution he made with midfielder Divine Teah, who brought stability to the midfield. She further said the defeat to Malawi means Keita should be getting ready to bid farewell to Lone Star as head coach, something fans cannot take anymore.
With such pressure, it is still unclear if the FA will part ways with Keita, who signed a two-year contract as Lone Star head coach. He was given a mandate to qualify Liberia for the Nations Cup in Ivory Coast, which he failed, and to build a strong local national team that will reach the African national Championship. Prior to the Malawi encounter, Keita told the media that his mandate is not to qualify for the World Cup but set a target of finishing second in the 2026 World Cup qualifier group, which will take Liberia to the playoff.
Judging from his side’s opening match result, it seems he will not take Liberia far in the group, something that will not be good for Lone Star. Meanwhile, Liberia will face Equatorial Guinea on Monday at the SKD Sports Complex in the second match of the World Cup qualifiers. A win for Keita’s team will reduce the pressure on him, but if the opposite happens, it will be the end of his Lone Star career.