Monrovia – Liberia national football team drew goalless with Sierra Leone at home in a friendly Independence Day encounter at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex Sunday, July 22, 2018.
Report by Christopher C. Walker, [email protected]
The match was in observance of Liberia’s 171st Independence celebration and the first senior team match for President George Weah since becoming President in 2018.
The game proved difficult for Leone Stars as the Lone Star boys showed much tenacity and dominated much of the match in the presence of a handful of both Liberian and Sierra Leonean fans.
The game was two-way street leading both teams coming close to hitting the back of the net, but were unlucky, as interim Lone Star coach Thomas Kojo’s boys dominated possession at the closing stages of the first half up to the end of the game but repeatedly ran into the brick wall mounted by John Kingston’s defence.
Sierra Leone had few decent opportunities during the start of the game but were unable to beat Teah Dennis defence
The visitor’s striker Musa Kamara in the 8th minute had the first chance to open the scoring but he flanked the ball wide over Tommy Songo goal.
Winger Sam Jackson was unlucky to finish a pass in the box as his shot from close range was blocked by Alie Sesay.
The visitors showed some remarkable impression with the skipper Jukius Wobay and Mohamed on the frontline of the 4-4-2’s diamond pattern.
The powerful Musa Kamara along Mahamed Bundu of Sierra Leone were constant threat to Liberia, but they wouldn’t solve the mystery to the net as goalie Songo , too, was up to the task in the closing stages of the first half.
Lone Star local-based wingers of Sam Jackson and Fallah Sherriff were also a trouble in the rivals’ box but the cohesive defense of the visitors lessened their strength.
During the first half, the Red, White and Blue boys put up an aggressive performance with substitute sheriff nearly finding the net, hitting the ball on the stick. Liberia keeper Song, too, made a diving save end the half goalless.
Back from the break Kojo brought on Mustapha Lomell for Musa Kabbeh while Edward Ledlum for Fallah Sherriff , Chauncy Freeman replaced Sam Jackson and Jeremy Saygbe for Joseph Addo who plays in Germay.
Sam Johnson who was one of the professional players for Liberian along with Teah Dennis could not get on the score sheet due to the aggressive defending of the Leone Stars.
The Independence Boys did everything they could to spring the visitors defensive lock, but Coach Kingston side was organized, giving no space for the opposition to operate, even when the ball got within the box.
Head coach Kojo praised his players for their performance and side he hoped they can continue good showing ahead of September match with DR Congo.
“I feel my guys did well after a week of training we are building a team for the future and I see a bright one ahead of Liberia,” Thomas said.
For his part, Johnson Kingston, head coach of Sierra Leone said, the match was a great one for both team to see how good the local players are in international matches.
“This was very great game we have seen out mistakes and will work on it, Liberia has a future team likewise us so this match was important,” he added.