Lone Star Must Attack on all Cylinders
After their goal-shy 3-1 away loss to the Teranga Lions of
Senegal on match day one of the 2014 group qualifier at the
Stade Leopald Senghor in Dakar, the red, white and blue is
expected to engage the Palancas Negras of Angola on match
day two of the same competition this time at the Antoinette
Tubman Stadium (ATS).
Under the tutelage of questionable tactics coach Kaytu
Smith, the Lone Star has a weighty duel against the 2006
World Cup debutant and must attack on all cylinders. In a
classical or tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation in the block
form, the Lone Star should have a major boost to have back
in its fold the scampering winger Sekou Jabateh Oliseh who
missed the Dakar debacle due to injury. At least, the team
has an idea of the style and the aggression of the Angolans
as both sides met in an international friendly in 2011 in
Monrovia in a nil biting finish.
As an antidote or a means of reviving their hope of being in
contention for the qualifier, the Lone Star must avoid a
loss and a win will be a massive result in their quest to
make an impact in a group that also contains the Cranes of
Uganda who surprisingly drew with the Angolans last weekend
1-1 at the Estadio 11 Novembre. After FC Porto's hard nimble
footed winger Djalma Campos got the curtain raiser for the
Angolans in the early stages of the contest, Tanzanian based
forward Emma Okwi got the leveler in the dying amber to
ensure both sides share the spoils.
The Lone Star must have penetration in its game, width,
variation and the element of surprise if it must get the
better of the quick and hardworking visitors that are under
the guidance of caretaker coach Romeu Filemon. The nation's
pride and joy must also show character, be more clinical and
have the ability and gumption to fight to the end, the
latter two which were amongst key reasons they were made a
meat for the Lions Teranga last Saturday, June 2.
Kaetu's side must no doubt be lively and never forget he
team element while they also count on individual brilliance.
Against an Angolan side that will certainly implore a 4-3-3
formation which could be altered to a 4-5-1 especially when
on the front foot, the Lone Star must get on the front foot
as early as possible in attacking with at least seven
players, notably the two full backs, offensive midfielder
who should play in the hole behind the front two, the two
wide players as well as the front runners.
The team must however not be carried away by the attacking
play and ignore the defensive play as they need to have
bodies behind the ball just as they will attack in droves.
They can even defend with eight or nine men depending on the
nature of menace of the opponents attack.
Probable Line up:
Goalkeeper (Usual Custodian)
Back Four: (half moon shape-Two center back playing flat and
two full backs slightly ahead)
Trokon Zeon, Jimmy Dixon, Patrick Gerhardt & George Gebro
Midfield Quartet: (Block Form) Two Central and two wide
Theo Weeks Lewis, Alseny Keita, Sekou Jabateh Oliseh &
Front Runners: (The Second Striker slightly playing off the
Francis Doe & Dioh Williams
The full backs in local lad Trokon Zeon who is coming on as
a replacement for the suspended Solomon Grimes must have an
idea on the style of the Sunday's opponents as he was part
of the Lone Star in the friendly against them. He and the
other full back, the aging George Gebro must be lethal
during the attack and accurate under pressure. Both players
are expected to have tough battles against the deadly wide
men Djalma Campos of FC Porto that will play on the left
channel and German club FC Augsburg's Nando Rafel who will
operate down the right channel.
The other two members of the back four in Jimmy Dixon and
Patrick Gerdhardt are to be very effective in containing the
agile, tall and aerially dangerous Manucho Goncalves of
Spanish outfit Real Valladolid. Gerhardt is expected to be
the sweeper with Jimmy expected to pick up the crumbs or
pieces, but must not over rely on his defensive partner as
he must get involved into action in showing 'controlled
aggression' something he has being lacking in previous
games. While they will be needed too to provide coverage for
venturing full backs, they need to be the first in dealing
with the first time balls.
Theo Weeks must serve as a shield in front the back four as
a holding midfielder with Alseny Keita tasked to provide the
final ball to the strikers and as well pull the strings in
the middle of the park. There could be such problem though
as both players are mainly holding midfielders who might not
be endowed with the flair, short crisp cum defense splitting
passes to release teammates. But, their work ethic will help
a whole lot. They will however have interesting battles with
the Cypriot based midfielder Dede of AEL Limassol and the
Sweden based Dominique Kivuvu of Majilby AIF.
Marauding Captain Anthony Laffor and the ever lively Sekou
Jabateh Oliseh are to explode down the channels as they will
have the task to get pass the full backs of the Angolans
that should include Greek club Atromitos Zuela and Mussumary
of Recreativo Libolo.
The attacking duo Francis Doe and Dioh Williams are to be
ominous with their skills and precision, but will have to
firstly get the better of Dani Massunguna of Primeiro Agosto
and Edson Silva of Recreativo Zuela.
Recreativo Libolo's shotstopper Landu should be in goal
though he faces a stiff test from Jotabe of Petro Atletico.
It is expected to be a crunch pairing, and from a Lone Star
perspective the Spanish based James Zortiah should be the
super sub with Omega Roberts and Teah Dennis expected to
help out in central defense in case of a problem in the
center. Tonia Tisdell with his sweet left foot is should
also get a chance later as the Lone Star aim to make amends.