In the aftermath of a mauling and disappointing campaign the last time around, there are far bigger issues concerning the future of Liberian football that must be considered in these fresh qualifying rounds.
As Liberia begins her search for qualification to Gabon & Equatorial Guinea in 2012 against Zimbabwe on September 5 in Monrovia, the Lone Star must do that with recurring memory of how terrible they were in the last qualifiers.
The extra weight to perform well rests exactly on the entire team and with the level of commitment Liberia’s FA has demonstrated, the hunt for answers in now.
Liberia has not won a match in any major competition for a long time now, as the Lone Star disappointingly finished fourth in a group of four in the last Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Lone Star featured 27 players in the last qualifiers, scored 4 goals, and bagged 12 with only two players getting on the score sheet. This statistic shows that Liberia’s football is in a freefall and needs to improve.
The players recalled for this delicate encounter must rise to the occasion and live up to their bidding and represent themselves very well, remembering that the opportunity to play for your country is rare.
Booze boys of Liberian football
Becoming a great footballer anywhere requires hard-work and severe discipline both on and off the pitch. Football career is a short one, and it’s imperative on every player to make the most of the chance they’ve while they’re still young.
The issue of indiscipline is hampering Liberia’s football especially our so-called professionals, and until these guys realize that, they will always play second-rate to other African players making their marks on the bigger stage.
Recently, Coach Lone Star’s Hungarian Coach, Bertalan Bicskei, dismissed Dulee Johnson (AIK Sonia – Sweden), Dioh Williams (AGF Aarhus – Denmark), Francis Doe (Al Ahly – Egypt) for breaking the Lone Star’s code of conduct.
Without mincing words, these beer-gulping bad boys of Liberian football are not indispensable, and their attitudes don’t sync with the new route Liberia’s football wants to take.
- FIFA Ranking– 113
- Last Qualifiers: Scored 7, Conceded 12
- Form – W L D L D D
- Finished 3rd (Guinea, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia) with six points
Zimbabwe didn’t qualify for the last African Cup of Nations and most of its watchful players ply their trades in the South African League. The Warriors, as the Zimbabwean senior football is affectionately called.
Gilbert Mushangazhike scored two goals in the last qualifiers. The 35 yr-old striker of South Africa’s Orlando Pirates is on loan to Mpumalanga Black Aces also of South Africa. He was a member of the Zimbabwean 2006 African Nations Cup team, who finished bottom of their group in the first round of competition, thus failing to secure qualification for the quarter-finals.
Nyasha Mushekwi plays for South African Premier Club Mamelodi Sundowns. The 23 yr-old striker was the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League’s top scorer in the 2009 season, playing for CAPS United.
Liberia’s Lone Star
- FIFA Ranking– 156
- Last Qualifiers: Scored 4, conceded 12
- Form: L D L D L D
- Finished 4th (Algeria, Gambia, Senegal, Liberia) with three points
The current squad called up for Liberia doesn’t possess any eye-catching player that the team can rely on Sunday. In the last qualifying rounds, Dioh Williams and Oliver Makor scored Liberia’s four goals, but none of them is in the team.
Sekou Jabateh Oliseh of Russia’s CSKA Moscow will be making his debut for Liberia, and so much is expected of him. He’s gifted and has the right platform to showcase his quality.
Theo Lewis Weeks featured in the last qualifiers for Liberia. The 20yr-old midfielder has played for Ankaraspor and Ankaragücü on loan from Ankaraspor in the Turkish league. With five caps for Liberia, Theo is one of the promising youngsters in the squad.
Anthony Laffor also featured in the last qualifiers. The 25yr-old was recently appointed Captain of the Lone Star. The hard-working 6ft midfield cum-striker plays for Supersport United in the South African league and has 15 national team caps with no goal so far.
By Bruce Wiah – Liberiansoccer.com