Liberia bullets shoot down the Eagles Wednesday?
Liberia Coach Landi and Nigeria coach Keshi
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Written by By Leroy M. Sonpon, III
The virtually youthful side of Liberia is expected to host
the local based players of Nigeria, known as “Super Eagles
B” in an international friendly on Wednesday, February 15,
2012 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Central
The game which is expected to a feisty international
friendly is said to have sub-plots to the epic clash which
is making the encounter even more intriguing. But can
Liberia shoot down the Eagles tomorrow at the Antoinette
Record show that as of the era of the late Samuel K. Doe,
who many Liberians regarded as “The Father of the Promotion
for Liberian Football,” the Lone Star of Liberia has never
tasted defeat on home soil, to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
In 1987, the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex was lighted with
laughter when the Lone Star of Liberia dragged the Nigeria’s
Super Eagles, 2-0, during the Eight-Nation’s Zone 3
tournament. The goals were courtesy of Ezekiel Doe and
The following year, history was repeated at home, when the
Nigeria’s Super Eagles bowed to the Lone Star, 1-2, at the
1998 Olympic qualifiers. Both goals were scored by striker
Francis Mayango Jallah.
In the second leg match of 1998 Olympic qualifiers played in
Lagos, Nigeria, the Super Eagles whipped the Lone Star, 4-1.
The Consolation goal was netted by Liberia’s celebrity star
James Salinsa Debbah.
In recent times, in the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers, the
Liberia’s Lone Star thrash-out the Super Eagles, 2-1 at a
crowded Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex. The two goals were
netted by Christopher Wleh owing to a diagonal passes from
George Weah. In the return leg in Lagos, Liberia suffered
With these records Liberia has set on Nigeria, Will Liberia
maintain the clean sheet? The plug to the query now lies in
the hands of 45 year old Italian association football
manager, Roberto Landi, who is now is serving as head coach
for the Lone Star football teams, his principle deputy,
former Lone Star player, Thomas Kojo and cream of local
In readiness to the international friendlies, the local
based national team of Liberia, Lone star, has concluded its
seventh week of training yesterday under Coaches Roberto
Landi and Thomas Kojo. The team since its intensification of
practices has been in camp.
Veteran defender George Gebro, a member of the famous George
Weah Eleven era, has been named captain of the home based
team, assisted by Solomon Wesseh, another veteran defender.
“The team trains twice a day at the SKD complex. Though the
players are aware of the might of Nigeria, they believe the
test will prepare them for future matches, especially the
pending 2013 African Nations cup qualifiers against Namibia
at the foot of this February in Monrovia.
“The match is bound for Wednesday at 5pm at the ATS. The
Nigerians are expected in on Tuesday,” Mr. Henry Flomo, the
Director of Communication of LFA said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria's Super Eagles since the postponement of
the international friendly with Liberia on Sunday, January
15, 2012, has been playing series of internal games as its
build-up for the friendly against Liberia tomorrow.
Recently, the Super Eagles whipped the Nationwide Division
One side, Voice of Nigeria (VON) 3-0 in Abuja.
The match was played at the FIFA Goal Project in the Federal
Capital saw Head Coach Stephen Keshi trying out many new
players who proved too much for the amateur side.
However, it was regulars like goalkeeper Okemute Odah,
Godfrey Oboabona, Juwon Oshaniwa, Azubuike Egwueke, Papa
Idris, who all starred in the defense.
Gabriel Reuben, Ossai Uche, Sunday Emmanuel and newcomer
Henry Uche, held sway in the midfield while Kalu Uche and
Izu Azuka, where handed the striker's role in the 4-4-2
formation of Keshi.
The game which was previously cut-off in mid-January owing
to political unrest in some part of the oil-rich Nigeria, is
expected to be witnessed by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai,
some senior government officials and members of the diplomat
Liberia, like Nigeria, missed out on qualification for the
2012 Afcon and are now rebuilding under their respective
coaches, and both have called up a group of promising
players from the local league as a platform of building for
“Of late, record shows that the Nigeria’s Super Eagles have
not beaten us on our home soil and we are hopeful of keeping
that record clean.
“We are urging Coach Roberto Landi and the players to
preserve that record,” Liberia football analyst Wleh Bedell
“The records are there, we have never suffered lost to the
Super Eagles at home for the past 27 years …. We always
losing away and recently we lost 6-0 and 1-0 to the junior
Super Eagles in Nigeria,” a 67 sports fan, Robert Koffa
He added: “We pray that the Roberto Landi’s boys don’t put
sand in our farina at home.”
Admissions for the Wednesday’s game are: “VIP- US$50.00;
Around VIP - US$20.00; Stadium wing – L$500.00 and Around
the field - LD200.00.” Tickets are on sale as of yesterday
and the gates are expected to be opened by 12:00noon.