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Lone Star and Super Eagles battle to 2-2 draw

Ralph Geeplay     

The Liberian Lone Stars on Saturday played the Super Eagles of Nigeria for the Afcons qualifyer slated for South Africa next year. The Liberian trio of Tonia Tisdell, Sekou Oliseh Jabateh and Zah Kranger proved too much for the Eagles to handle.

The Nigerians seemed surprised by the quickness of the Liberian national team they were suppose to dominate, but the Liberian team raised the goal scoring curtain as early as the fourth minute when Turkish-based Tonia Tisdell of Saliufaspor FC, intercepted a pass from Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) playmaker, Isaac Pupo.

Tisdell roasted the Nigerian defenders and the World Cup-tested goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, when he blasted home a goal at the 40,000  Monrovia Sport Complex.

The Lone Star’s lead sparked a current on the Nigerian side. The Nigerians fought back and were rewarded for their efforts 13 minutes later, when a crossed from Ejike Uzoenyi was deflected by the outstanding Liberian goalie Nathaniel Sherman, which was intercepted and slotted home by Real Betis striker Nosa Igiebor.

Chelsea’s ‘wonder boy’  Victor Moses capitalized on a defensive blunder 4 minutes later, when he was fouled in the box. Spain-based Ike Uche converted the penalty for the Eagles to take the lead.

Liberia immediately went on the hunt for goals but to no avail. The Lone Star put pressure on the Nigerian defense with a midfielder that was strong for the Nigerians to contain.  At half time, the Super Eagles led the Lone Star by 2 goals to 1.

Coach Keshi’s team led comfortably by a 2-1 lead at halftime. However, Liberia took the game to the two-time African champion by battling them boot-to-boot on their home turf for an equalizer. And the man called to do the job was the CSKA Moscow-based dribbling maestro, Sekou Oliseh Jabateh, whose mesmerizing footwork left jaws dropping at the Monrovia Sports Complex.

Jabateh 66-min goal came as a result of a well-calculated passed from the talented Indonesian-based Zah Kranger that sent the Liberians to a euphoric celebration with the score line at 2-2.

A thunder fired by Kranger beat Vincent Enyeama; but hit the post and ricocheted for the Nigerian keeper to grab. It was another effort by the Liberian, which was considered to have been scored from an off-side position.

The Super Eagles under Steve Keshi a.k.a. ‘the big boss’ is yet to win on the road since he took over the team. The Super Eagles tied Niger, Malawi, Rwanda and now Liberia.

Coach Kaetu Smith’s team is unable to hold on to early leads, and the Lone Star squandered an early lead in June this year in Dakar, Senegal, when his team failed to hold on to  Francis Doe’s clinical finish. Lone Star eventually lost that game 3-1, and again against Nigeria through Tisdell’s 4th minute effort.

The second leg is expected to take place in October in Calabar, Nigeria. Meanwhile Liberia will host the Black Stars of Ghana tomorrow in Monrovia in a friendly match.

Afcons weekend results Zambia 1 – 0 Uganda, Central African Rep. 1 – 0 Burkina Faso, Gabon 1 – 1 Togo, Ghana 2 – 0 Malawi, Sierra Leone 2 – 2 Tunisia, Cape Verde 2 – 0 Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire 4 – 2 Senegal, Mali 3 – 0 Botswana, Sudan 5 – 3 Ethiopia, Liberia 2 – 2 Nigeria, Zimbabwe 3-1 Angola, Mozambique 2-0 Morocco, DR Congo 4-0 Equatorial Guinea.

Ralph Geeplay can be reached at akklamm@gmail.com

 

Category: Arts & Entertainment, Featured Articles, News Headlines, Sports

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