Fading Hopes Looms as Liberia Draw 0-0 with Angola
Lone Star's striker Anthony Laffor outweighs Angola players
in the second half of World Cup qualifiers in Monrovia on
Written by Danesius Marteh
Monrovia - Liberia and Angola Sunday settled for an
unbelievable goalless draw in Monrovia as match day two of
the 2014 World Cup qualifiers continued across the globe.
With Europeans keeping an eye on the Uefa Euro 2012
championship in Poland and Ukraine, it was a busy weekend in
Africa, South America and Oceania as the race for Brazil
At the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS), Liberia coach Kaetu
Smith and his technical staff made four changes to the squad
that lost 3-1 to Senegal but those changes were just good on
Defenders Teah Dennis replaced the suspended Solomon Grimes
who was red-carded in Dakar while Omega Roberts swapped for
the injured Patrick Gerhardt Nyemah who dislocated his
shoulder against the Teranga Lions.
Alseny Keita and Theo Weeks got James Zotiah as a helper in
midfield while Zah Krangar partnered Dioh Williams and
Francis Forkey Doe in attack but the duo missed a host of
The Angolans, who were held 1-1 by Uganda in Luanda on June
3, sat deep and rarely took their opponents on the break,
opting to play the aerial balls for Manucho.
But the ex-Manchester United player was well policed by
defender Jimmy Dixon—an ex-teammate at Manisaspor in
Turkey.Doe and Williams troubled their opponents time and
again but they lacked the finishingtouches. In fact,
Williams was guilty for missing what appeared to be the
clearest of chances when he was found in space by defender
The BK Hacken striker stumbled along the way, regained
position and skimmed past three defenders with only the
goalkeeper at his mercy but he blasted his effort straight
into the arms of the falling Landu Mavanga.
With half time looming, Smith substituted Zotiah for Sekou
Jabateh-Oliseh but that was time wasting as center referee
Ali Lemghaifry signaled for recess.
Back from the break, Smith again switched tactics with
Krangar making way for the uninspiring Anthony Laffor to the
disbelief of some fans.
Having sensed the changes, Angola dropped more men deeper
with only Manucho rarely pressing forward.
Laffor, Doe, Oliseh and Williams interchangeably swapped
positions with fewer chances being created but Angola held
on for the vital away point that will count somehow and
somewhere as match day three kick-off in March 2013.
Angola could have won the match when Bartolomeu Quissanga’s
long range cross was headed by the towering Manucho but
goalie Nathaniel Sherman came to the rescue.
That was by far their clearest chances on goal and they will
leave for Luanda having accomplished their mission.
Police had to be on top of their game in containing angry
fans who insulted Bility’s mother and demanded his
Senegal, who drew 1-1 with Uganda in Kampala on Saturday,
lead Group J with four points.
Uganda and Angola are leveled on two points but the Cranes
have a goal advantage ahead of the Palancas Negras while the
Lone Star are bottom with a point.
Angola head coach Romeu Filemon, who sent under-17
goalkeeper coach Helder Miguel on a scouting mission to
Dakar, was understandably delighted with the result.
“We came with two things on our mind. That is either a win
or a draw and we got one. Liberia created some chances but
were unlucky to score.
“Our game was to watch what we got [from Dakar] and see what
our opponents are made off. We weren’t tactically good but
our techniques worked well.
“A point away from home is good and we just have to take one
game at a time,” said Miguel through an interpreter.
But coach Smith, who was disappointed with the result,
thinks Angola were very efficient throughout the match.
“This was not the result we desired. We came to claim the
three points but things didn’t go our way.
“We played against a team that was very efficient
defensively. They were very good at counter-attack also. We
tried to slow things down but it didn’t work.
“We tried to speed things up but it was the same thing. So
this was a very close match,” Smith told journalists inside
a noisy dressing room.
Meanwhile the former LPRC Oilers head coach is upbeat about
their chances against Namibia.
The Lone Star take on the Brave Warriors in the second leg
of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Windhoek on
Saturday. Liberia won the first leg 1-0 at the ATS on
February 29 but coach Smith believes qualification is in
their hands despite a poor away record. “We can only hope
for the best.
The game is not about an ultimate qualification because if we win Namibia
we will meet Senegal. “It is decisive because we are going
to go to next round to meet Senegal. And I am sure about
that,” he concluded.
As we made our way inside the dressing room, the playing
pitch was invaded by angry fans and police was quickly
called into action.
They had to be on top of their plan in containing the
protesting fans who insulted the mother of LFA president
Musa Bility and demanded his unconditional resignation as
technical director Henry Brown watched in disbelief.
They had earlier interrupted an interview with deputy coach
Kelvin Sebwe and jeered at him as police and other security
guards took him away.
Coach Smith is tactfully absorbing the pressure with one
defeat and a draw but his fate could be hanging on a thread
especially after the Windhoek showdown.
Will he shake-up the squad that drew with Angola or recalled
the defeated squad Senegal?
Only time will tell as the team leaves Monrovia on
Liberia: 1-Nathaniel Sherman, 3-Teah Dennis, 4-Theo Weeks
(12-Martin Karndu 70’), 5-Jimmy Dixon, 6-Omega Roberts,
8-Alseny Keita, 9-Dioh Williams, 15-Francis Forkey Doe,
17-George Gebro, 19-James Zotiah (10-Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh
43’) and 22-Zah Krangar (14-Anthony Laffor 60’).
Substitutes not used: 2-Marcus Macauley, 7-Perry Kollie,
11-Abraham Barshall, 13-Patrick Wleh, 16-Mulbah Urey,
18-Solomon Wesseh, 20-Galley James, 21-Herron Berrion and
Coach: Joseph Kaetu Smith
Angola: 22-Landu Mavanga, 2-Regio Congo Zalata (6-Manuel Da
Gaspar 75’), 3-Antonio Dos Santos, 4-Masunguna Alex Afonso,
5-Kdoka Jeadot Kivuvu, 7-Djalma Abel Campos (14-Amandio
Filipe Da Costa 82’), 8-Osvaldo Joao Diniz (20-Moises Miguel
Jose 90+1’), 9-Mateus Contreiras Alberto, 15-Miguel Geraldo
Guiami, 16-Adawa Mokanga and 17-Bartolomeu Quissanga.
Substitutes not used:, 10-Adriano Duarte Nicolau,
11-Gamaliel Mussumari, 12-Joao Da Silva, 18-Nkembo Garcia
and 19-Isaac Correia Da Costa.
Coach: Romeu Filemon
Match officials: center referee Ali Lemghaifry, assistant
referee #1Pene Cheikh, Dia El Hassane-assistant referee #2
and Thiam Amadou-fourth official.