Victorious Dress Rehearsal: Liberia Leaves it Late to Edge
Written by Danesius Marteh
Wednesday, 05 September 2012
Monrovia - Zah Kranger left it late to hand under-pressure
coach Kaetu Smith his first win in charge of Liberia as the
Cellcom-sponsored national team beat Malawi 1-0 in an
international friendly at the Samuel Kanyon Doe (SKD) sports
complex in Paynesville on Tuesday.
The Indonesia-based midfielder capitalized on a play
advantage when LPRC winger James Soto Roberts, who replaced
the uninspiring James Koko Lomell, slipped-up in the
With center referee Emmanuel Neewan signaling for play-on,
Zah pounced onto the ball and skimmed past defender Moses
Chavula before placing the ball in the right post on 88
It was his second goal since scoring in the 3-2 Independence
Day friendly win over Gambia at the SKD on July 24, 2011.
Liberia had the better of chances but lack the cutting
edge—a pause for concern for Smith and his technical staff
ahead of the big game on Saturday.
Coach Kinnah Phiri’s instruction largely worked-out as his
team sat deep for a greater portion of the match in order to
take their opponents on the break.
Newest sensation Gabadinho Mhango, who came on in the 41st
minute, created some problems for the defensive pair of Teah
Dennis and Solomon Wesseh.
A miscue from Dennis was intercepted by Mhango but he wasted
his effort with an attempt far from target.
Coach Smith had a flurry of substitutions deep into the
second-half but it was the visitors who looked pleased with
Eddie Boakai Foday, who started against Equatoguineans on
August 15 in Malabo, was introduced in the 55th minute.
Foday had the clearest of chances at goal after he was
tee-up by Kranger in the 18-yard box but he blasted his
effort at goalie Simplex Nthala at his mercy.
It may not be a convincing win in the eyes of Smith’s
critics but he has got a morale boaster as both countries
warmed-up to Saturday’s crucial 2013 Africa Cup of Nations
Liberia host Nigeria while Malawi are Ghana’s guests in what
should be a thriller before the return legs in October.
Phiri and his 27-man delegation depart Monrovia today for
And local tactician didn’t show any sign of defeat despite
missing key players due to suspension and injuries.
Foster Namwera is suspended for the first leg due to two
yellow cards while captain Peter Mponda is ruled out of both
legs due to a knee injury and John Banda could miss both
legs due to injury.
Binda scored in the 1-1 2014 World Cup qualifier with
Nigeria on June 9 and the 2-0 second round second leg 2013
Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Chad on June 17.
With the arrival of Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh yesterday, Smith
will be hoping that Patrick Gerhardt Nyema, Jimmy Dixon,
Omega Roberts, Alseny Keita Tonia Tisdell and Patrick Wleh
will arrive in time for the match.
Zah Krangar and teammates celebrate late goal against Malawi
Tuesday at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.
Liberia: 1-Nathaniel Sherman, 3-Teah Dennis, 4-Theo Weeks
(12-Martin Karndu 45’), 7-Ansu Toure (23-Eddie Boakai Foday
55’), 11-Isaac Pupo, 15-Solomon Wesseh, 17-George Gebro
(captain), 18-Solomon Grimes (6-Trokon Zeon 72’), 19-Edward
Junior Wilson (2-Marcus Macaulay 68’), 20-James Koko Lomell
(13-James Soto Roberts 44’) and 21-Zah Kranger (9-Slyvanus
Substitutes not used: 5-Musa Dargbason, 16-Mulbah Urey and
Malawi: 2-Peter Wadabwa (17-Jimmy Zakazaka 59’), 3-Moses
Chavula, 5-James Sangala, 6-Dave Banda, 7-Pilirani Makupe,
8-Chimango Kayira, 10-Joseph Kamwendo (15-Robert Ng’ambi
60’), 12-Limbikani Mzava, 13-Frank Banda, 16-Simplex Nthala
and 18-Atusaye Nyondo (14-Gabadinho Mhango 41’).
Substitutes not used: 1-Charles Swini, 9-Ndaziona Chatsalira,
11-Robin Ngalande and 20-Steve Chagoma.
Liberian match officials: Emmanuel Neewon (center referee),
Elisha Johnson (assistant referee #1), Augustine Gooding
(assistant referee #2), Jerry Yekeh (reserve referee or
fourth official) and Nyanqueh Borsay (match commissioner).