Monrovia – Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) has won the Liberia Football Association (LFA) 2018 National League replacing LISCR FC as champions of Liberian football.
Report by Christopher C. Walker, [email protected]
BYC defeated LPRC Oilers 4-2 on post-match penalties after full ninety minutes and extra 30 minutes ended 2-2 at the examination hall of Liberian football, the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS).
William Freeman gave the “Go Blue Boys” the lead in the 3rd minute after James Walatee’s through ball and Freeman over ran Oilers defense before beating Saylee Swen.
Three minutes later, Solomon Wesseh’s powerful header was beautifully saved by BYC’s goalkeeper Alpha Jalloh.
Oilers, who has not won the league since 2005 mounted pressure on the Blues for the equalizer and got it from the penalty spot as Stanley Whitfield was brought down in the box by right back Jeremy Saygbe.
Ebenezer Solo converted the penalty sending Jalloh the wrong way to level things 1-1 after 26 minutes of football hostility.
With seven former BYC players at LPRC, they pushed their former employer in their own half but Teah Dennis and Eugene Swen proved difficult to beat.
Prince Nagbe had the chance to increase BYC’s lead in the 36 minutes but he missed a golden chance that David Tweh had set before him and put his effort passed the post by inch.
Tweh tried another effort. This time his 20-yard strike was saved by Swen.
Oilers made it 1-2 in the 40th minute after poor judgment from Alpha Jalloh ending the first half in the “Oil Boys’” favor.
Robert Lartey introduced Mustapha Lomell for Kaweku Mensah, the striker who got the equalizer for BYC in the 69th minute after Trokon Myers’ effort was saved by the experienced Swen, but Lomell was right on time to score from the rebound.
Both teams had a fair share of the ball going forward but their attackers did not materialize their chances.
Nuwo Johnson of Oilers blew an open opportunity for his side while Abdulai Bility missed two free headers for the Blues.
Ketu Jerbo, David Tweh and William Freeman were constant threats to the “Oil Boys” on several occasions while Stanley Whitefield, Ebenezer Solo and Junior Barshell created some heartbreaking moments.
Both teams appeared to be out of vigor which resulted to the penalty kicks following extra 30 minutes.
BYC’s Captain Dennis walked up to the first penalty but was denied by his former team Saylee Swen, whom he played alongside during his days at LPRC. Oilers’ Solomon Wesseh didn’t capitalize on Dennis’ miss to put his side ahead but blasted his kick over the crossbar.
Eugene Swen converted BYC’s second ball and Solo also sent Jalloh the wrong way from the spot.
David Tweh and Mustapha Lomell scored BYC’s penalties but Oilers’ defender Sampson Dweh, who replaced the injured Alvin Maccornel, penalty was saved by Jalloh and Trokon Myers scored the winning ball to crown BYC champions of Liberia.
The Go Blue Boys topped their group with 17 points while Oilers won their group with similar points from eight matches.
BYC has now won the championship four times and will represent Liberia at the Confederation of African Football 2019 Champions League.
For the first time in Liberian football after many years, Wednesday’s final was followed by a formal closing ceremony of the 2018 league which is considered by many lovers of Football as the shortest league. It lasted less than four months.
As a prize for winning the league, BYC walked away with L$750,000 while runners up sensational LPRC Oilers pocketed L$450,000.
The LFA also presented individual awards at the end of the league to individuals who performed well during the league with their respective clubs.
Trokon Myers of BYC walked away with a trophy and cash prize for been the highest scorer with nine goals.
Aloysius Simujla of Oilers, received the Washington Blay Best Defender Award while Saylee Swen of Oilers walked away with the David Momo Best Goalkeeper Award.
Kelvin Potis of BYC, who was crowned the Most Valuable Player of the league, received a trophy and cash prize. He also received the George Manneh Weah MVP Award.
Coach Robert Lartey of BYC was awarded the Best Coach of the season.
Meanwhile, BYC will face LISCR on Friday in the FA Cup final of the Liberia Football Association.
LISCR, who won the title last season, is desperate to retain their title and represent Liberia at the Confederation Cup.