The Liberia National Soccer Team or Lone Star, on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, defeated Guinea Bissau 3-1 in the first preliminary round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in the Bissautan Capital, Bissau.
Liberia goes through to the next round on a 4-2 aggregate to meet the Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire – first at home and then, in Abidjan. While we may continue to celebrate Tuesday’s victory over Guinea Bissau, following a one-all draw last Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, fans, supporters and Liberian well-wishers of the National Team must continue to have at the back of their minds that our country is “rebuilding a new team.”
Coach James Salinsa Debbah and technical staff have and continue to tell us ( and truly we must understands) that there will not be a “quick-fix” to a formidable national side for now until later – meaning, all efforts were being exerted to identify, gathered and try-out Liberian players at home and abroad as part of the rebuilding exercise.
It is in view of the foregoing that Liberians at home and abroad must be warned against denigrating the Head Coach and players of the team whenever they under-perform in a draw or defeat. With the clearest understanding that Liberia is rebuilding a national team – not necessarily gathering players, it would very uncivilized and foolish for any sound person to instantly “use negative adjectives –profane words and phrases” in any event of under-performance as exhibited during the October 8, n2015 one-all draw in Monrovia.
While we appreciate the celebrations and praises characterizing Lone Star’s 3-1 victory over Guinea Bissau on Tuesday, we must also be very cognizant of the fact that it is also part of the “rebuilding” process towards a formidable national side, and that whenever there are technical challenges on the field of play, we must also remain calm and collected.
Even though we share the sentiments of soccer spectators, fans and well-wishers of the National Team, our duty as responsible citizens and football enthusiasts is to give our moral support and encouragement – one way or the other, in all efforts toward “rebuilding” our team – and truly, with the techniques and values attached to the ongoing reorganization drive led by Head Coach James Salinsa Debbah and others, we must be assured of a strong and enviable Lone Star. This goes to suggest that we must exercise the highest degree of patience and self-discipline while Debbah and “our boys” play these international matches.
As we caution, as well as admonish Liberians in support of the national team, the Liberia Football Association headed by Mr. Musa H. Bility, the technical staff and players of the Lone Star must also be urged to do everything possible to continue to identify and ratify the technical challenges on the field of play, as was done in the just-ended match in Guinea Bissau.
Without fear or favor, Debbah and team must continue to ensure discipline and indispensability, as well as create competition among players in the rebuilding process, while the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Liberian L:egislature must make the necessary budgetary appropriations in support of the team as a way of motivating the Coaches and players towards a committed and disciplined National Soccer Team of Liberia.
As Liberians hail the Lone Star of Liberia for the level of improvements, especially abroad, consistency in its performance must also be the hall-mark – something Coach Debbah continues to express. Liberia’s strategy against the Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire – our next opponents in the next round must be the main focus. Even though the Elephants may not be assumed to be a “tough side” , if our “boys” can exhibit all of the attributes of good players and a formidable side, the Lone Star would definitely shine.
As the team arrives home today, Liberians of all walks of life, must join in Healing the Lone Star, and God continue to inspire us –all to morally and finally support the process of “rebuilding” a formidable National Team.