Liberia: Big Blow for Lone Star — Johnson Ruled Out of Zimbabwe Clash


Striker Sam Johnson

Monrovia – Liberian Striker Sam Johnson has been ruled out of Lone Star’s crucial clash at home with the Warriors in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers through injury.

Report by Christopher C. Walker 00231777898224 / 00231886723075 [email protected]

The 25-year-old was named in coach Thomas Kojo’s 11-man foreign-based players invited for the match but six days to the match he suffered a knee injury at his Norwegian club Vålerenga’s.

Described by Liberian football lovers as the machine man, he is expected to be out for three weeks.

Johnson has played in every game under Thomas Kojo since taking over from former coach James Debbah and has formed a great partnership with William Jerbor in the Red, White and Blue attack.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica from his base in Norway, Johnson said it is disappointing that he’s going to be out of this crucial game.

“I am frustrated to be out of Sunday game because it is the most important game for us. A win for us will strengthen our chances of qualification for the Nations Cup.

“I want to play at the Nations Cup and to do that we have to win but I am not part of what we started. They beat us away and now it is our time to beat them,” Johnson further stated.

Though he is not going to be a part of the team, he has confidence in the team that will be drawn against the warriors of Zimbabwe.

“The players are determined to fight to the end and get all three points. I believe in everyone and in the team’s ability so without me, we can still win,” Sam added, urging his colleagues to do all to take all three points from the Warriors of Zimbabwe.

Tonia Tisdell returned to the Lone Star squad after missing two matches due to injury. He may start the match from the bench, where he could observe the match before make his impact.

The skillful winger was a constant threat to the defense of the Democratic Republic of Congo at home in Lone Star’s 1-1 draw.

The winger was replaced by Kpah Sherman in the starting line-up against Congo Brazzaville in the back-to-back fixtures which Liberia lost away and won at home 2-1.

Meanwhile, out of form goalkeeper Tommy Songo has been dropped for the Sunday match and replaced by BYC shot stopper Alpha Eshaka Joalloh.

The LISCR keeper was responsible for DR Congo’s late equalizer and conceded two goals against Nigeria in an international friendly. Since than he has not played a minute for Kojo’s men making way for his club team mate Ashley William to make his debut for the senior national team against Congo Brazzaville, a game Liberia secured their first win of the qualifiers.

According to a release from the Liberia Football Association (LFA) on Tuesday, November 13, head coach Thomas Kojo has named a 20-member squad to face Zimbabwe on Sunday, November 18 at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.

Coach Kojo’s 20-man squad comprises of both local and foreign-based players.

The squad moved to camp on Monday evening in Paynesville City ahead of the clash that is a must win one for Liberia if they are to reach their third Cup of Nations.

Mohammed Sangare of Newcastle United is also in the squad and is expected to make his long-awaited debut for the Lone Star.

A release from the LFA said goalkeepers named for Sunday game are Boison Wynney de Souza, Ashley Williams and Alpha Eshaka Jalloh.
Defenders include Teah Dennis, Joel Johnson Alajarin, Alvin Maccornel, Kemoh Sidiki Kamara, Aloysius Snosie Simujla and Euguene Swen.

The LFA release named the midfielders as Anthony Snoti Laffor, Murphy Oscar Dorley, Tonia Tisdell, Sylvanus C. Nimely, Mohammed Sangare,Allen Njie David Tweh and Fallah Sheriff .
The strikers are team captain William Jerbo, Kpah Sean Sherman and Sam Kollie.

Currently, Zimbabwe tops Group H with eight points while Liberia has four points a win for the home side will take them to seven points and if Congo, Brazzaville and DRC draw a win for Liberia away to Brazzaville means they will qualified for Cameroon 2019.