By Peterking Quaye with support from New Dawn-Liberia – News monitored by Shout-Africa.com correspondent from Liberia indicates that Liberia’s Under-23 football team will honour the first leg of the all African Games qualifiers this Saturday at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville against their Nigerian opponents. Liberia was recently thrashed 4 – 0 by La Cote d’Ivoire in Ghana during the London 2012 Olympic qualifiers.
The Liberian side was led by Italian coach, Roberto Landi and Thomas Kojo as assistant. The Lone Star Junior team line-up local base players for the match. The players’ listing of the Nigerian Dream Team for the Monrovia game was drawn from oversea players.
The national youth team of Liberia, Lone Star Under-23 Football team held Nigeria Dream Team to a 1-1 exciting encounter in Monrovia.
Nimba FC Striker, Samuel Johnson levelled things for Liberia after he was infused into the action during the start of the second help.A Sam Johnson penalty was wasted by LPRC Oilers winger James Soto Robert. Soto took the spot kick after Johnson was brought down in the Nigerian box. This match was the first leg of the All-African Games qualifiers.
Though Liberia is almost out of two major competitions- the African Cup of Nations and London 2012 Olympic, it is going into the 3rd qualifier for another competition. After being subjected to a 4-0 disgrace nearly two weeks ago, the local team continues to training at the ATS for tomorrow’s match, some adjustments expected for improvement.
According to Kick-off Nigeria ,Nigeria’s Under-23 team are facing trying times ahead of Saturday’s All Africa Games qualifier against Liberia in Monrovia. Abandoned for three hours at the airport on arrival by their hosts, the squad are now suffering the indignity of a sustained lack of electricity at their hotel.
Leader of delegation, Barrister Chris Green said there has been power outage at the team’s hotel on the outskirts of Monrovia since Thursday, and the hotel management says the power-generating set has been taken away for repairs.
“There is no electricity at the hotel, and we’re told they are repairing the generator. It is very hot, but the players are not bothered as they know they are here for business. Their minds are on the match taking place at the Samuel Doe Sports Complex on Saturday night,” said Green.
Team media officer Arafat Aliu confirmed that the conditions are somewhat challenging but the team remains undeterred and did not show any worries at a light work-out on Friday morning.
Midfielder Rabiu Ibrahim, who won a Fifa U-17 World Cup gold in Korea Republic four years ago and also played at the Fifa U-20 World Cup in 2009, said: “We are not disturbed by all these antics. We will do the business on the pitch. In fact, we want to punish the Liberians for this behaviour.”
Striker Danny Uchechi added: “We are here for business and that is where our minds are. We don’t care for their attitude.”
Officials of the Liberia FA have failed to show up at the team’s hotel and are not even picking calls from members of the Nigeria delegation. The team was scheduled to train again on Friday evening in order to be accustomed to the late evening conditions since the match would start at 7pm Liberia time (8pm Nigeria time). The match commissioner is from Cameroon, while the referees from Cote d’Ivoire also managed to leave their country on Thursday morning.
BYC axis back Alpha James was seen working as a left-back defender, while LISCR defensive midfielder Michael Jaesue was shifted to right back sidelining Bill Paytoe of Oilers and Trokon of IE. Mighty Barrolle’s goalkeeper Sam Cooper returned to the team after being dropped from Liberia’s game with Cote d’Ivoire to fill the gap of injured Black Star’s goal keeper Galley James.
Nimba FC’s striker Sam Johnson is also rejoining the striking unit with Path Sherman of BYC and other attackers for the game. LPRC Oilers’ Center back Teah Dennis and BYC center-half Graynt are expected to partnership in the Under-23 center defense. Lone Star youth forward Patrick Wleh rejoined the Under-23 after netting one goal for Lone Star against Cape Verde.
The second leg of the match will be played in two weeks when Nigeria welcomes Liberia to settle the path for their advancement.