Sangare Strikes Late as Liberia Earn Valuable Draw against South Africa in Afcon Qualifier￼
Johannesburg, South Africa – Mo Sangare’s thunderbolt strike was enough as Liberia fought back to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw against South Africa gave coach Ansu Keita’s men a sense of belief going into the second leg on Tuesday, March 28 in Monrovia.
By Jaheim T. Tumu- [email protected]
Lyle Foster scored a brace to give Bafana Bafana a well-deserved lead in the first half, but substitute Tonia Tisdell scored a brilliant free-kick that set the pace for an inspired comeback for the Lone Star in the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.
Liberia and South Africa have met twice in the Afcon qualifiers before the match in Johannesburg, and the hosts were set to claim another win against Lone Star, as Hugo Broos’ men pressed high from the start, and within the 12th minute went ahead from the spot following a naive decision-making from goalkeeper Tommy Songo.
Percy Tau was carelessly fouled in the area by Songo despite not having control of the ball and Foster converted from the spot with the 12th minute on the clock.
The South Africans, who squandered plenty of chances, extended their lead in the 22nd minute from a corner after Foster leapt over the head of Lone Star’s Captain William Jebor.
The visitors rarely threatened in the first half but Oscar Dorley’s volley forced Ronwen Williams into a decent save before the interval.
Coach Keita made a couple of changes immediately after the interval, withdrawing Jamal Arago and debutant Nohan Kenneh with midfielders Allen Njie and Sangare.
With the acquisition of those two, it was a beginning of a period of positive possession for Lone Star in the second half.
Mohammed Kamara had a good chance for Keita’s men when he was put through by Njie. The forward, who once refused to wear the Lone Star shirt, skipped past his marker but could not convert his shot on target.
South Africa struck back immediately after the hosts won a free-kick in a dangerous area. Tau brilliantly struck the ball past Songo, but it was disallowed for slight deflection off the hand of a South African player.
Keita then sent on Tisdell, who was rejected by former Lone Star coach Peter Butler, but the winger less than 90 seconds on the pitch, immediately relieved the Lone Star hopes as his stunning free-kick beat Williams down the near post to reduce the scoreline.
The match eventually began end to end as the South Africans forced Songo to make a save before substitute Peter Wilson’s effort was palmed by Williams.
Then came a moment of magic, Tisdell won the ball down the left flank, and cut inside before finding Sangare, the Accrington Stanley midfielder, from 35-yard, fired a ferocious left-footed to secure a point for Lone Star.