The Lone Star is gearing up for inclusion in the group battle for one of the five slots available to Africa for participation at the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals. The team must overcome Mauritius away and at home to earn the last slot for Group-G which already has Senegal, Uganda and Angola waiting.
The ability of the local defenders of the National Team to avoid goals away to Mauritius has become very worrisome to many soccer fans. The current defense of the Lone Star seems not to be in form, especially when playing away as evidenced by previous results of away matches in three competitions.
Teah Dennis, Alpha James and Francis Garlo Myer all of BYC, as well as Trokon Zeon of Invisible Eleven, George Gebro current in South Africa and Solomon Wisseh from LPRC Oilers are the current defenders to perform the tedious task next month away to Mauritius.
What may seem as another problem with the national team is the absence of aggressive defensive midfielders, Ansu Keita, Martin Kandu and Michael Macaulay.
The absence of Sekou Jabateh and Ben Teekloh further pushes the Lone Star deep into troubled waters. The team’s inability to draw away is another factor coach Roberto Landi must seriously consider to solve because drawing away puts the team in a better chance during home matches. Captain Anthony Laffor, Dioh Williams and Patrick Wreh are the pointers on whom the Lone Star must depend to do the danger in Mauritius.
Coach Landi and these strikers must rework their poor scoring records at national tam level if the team should reach the group of the World Cup qualifiers and further make progress to be among the five to represent Africa in Brazil come 2012.
Statistics has shown that Lone Star conceived twenty-five goals during the Nations Cup qualifying series, All African Games and London 2012 Olympic qualification series. Liberia began with a 1-1 away draw in Freetown against the Shooting Star of Sierra Leone and another 1-1 draw at the SKD Sports Stadium in Monrovia before emerging as winners in post-match penalties.
The National Under-23 progressed to the next after eliminating Sierra Leone and was paired with Ivory Coast, but could not survive the 4-0 defeat at the legs of the latter in Accra, Ghana. The team’s 0-0 draw in Monrovia further plunged them into a big mess in the London 2012 qualification.
In the All African Games fixture, the team could only score two goals against seven at home and abroad for the Dream Team of Nigeria.
After drawing 1-1 in Monrovia, the National Under-23 team was whipped 6-0 in Nigeria. Liberia played Zimbabwe to a 1-1 in Monrovia, allowed a 2-1 defeat away to Mali, and was flogged 4-2 in Cape Verde, winning 1-0 in Monrovia at the mercy of God.
When many football fans and supporters had thought that defeat of Cape Verde in Monrovia would have stimulated a victory or draw in Zimbabwe, the Lone Star was dragged 3-0 in Harare. The country’s 2-all draw with Mali in Monrovia could only close the chapter for the 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers.
The introduction of former international midfielder Kelvin Sebwe and right-back Thomas Kojo during the 2002 Nations Cup in Mali continue to profit Liberia because they are usually “ground keeping” the local players in form through early preparations.
Although the decision by Roberto Landi to dropped, Francis Grandpa Doe from the national team is yet to have redress from the FA; team needs the Egyptian-based striker for his partnership style of play with Dioh Williams, both of whom had wonderful time during their days in Ghana on the Buduburam Refugee Camp.
Doe’s return could improve the Lone Star’s striking force to further “terrorize” the defense of Mauritius away and at home.