Barrack Young Controllers’ President Sekou Konneh was apparently speaking his heart out when he told journalists before his side’s narrow victory against Stade Malien of Mali in the CAF Championship League encounter last Sunday that he has a different approach to continental engagements.
This answer came following the team’s poor league performances in four matches, where they have collected four points and suffered two defeats.
Despite President Konneh’s optimism, his boys managed a narrow 1-0 victory, courtesy of a penalty award. Now the team has arrived in Bamako and will be clashing against their opponents on Sunday.
Playing in their own backyard, the Malians may explore some opportunities in their favor. How would BYC defend against any challenges? Perhaps events in the first leg could be enough to get an idea of what might happen on Sunday.
Reports at the game indicated that contrary to the position of President Konneh about the team’s different performance against outsiders, his side has a loose midfield, and there was not an efficient distributor to push his men upfront.
Playing at home, a day after locals Monrovia Club Breweries had disgraced Algerian champions JS Kabylie 3-0, there was enormous pressure on BYC to produce more goals.
Unable to regain their smashing form, BYC simply played along, struggling to stamp their authority on the match. Even on the penalty award that gave them the 1-0 victory, many did not think the match deserved to be won by that.
“Winning 1-0 indicates that BYC will have a lot of work to do to avoid their opponents scoring two goals against them,” said a Go Blue Boys (BYC) fan.
Technical director Thomas Kojo of Lone Star fame told OK FM Sunday program recently that his boys were prepared for the Algerians but a narrow result, coupled with a game that did not bring the best in the boys at home lives much to be considered.
True, every game has its own challenges and surprises and it is possible that even the Malians may not be able to show their supremacy at home, though no one can bet on that.
It is possible that Stade Malien may be good at home and trailing 1-0, they may be invigorated to do their best. But Coach Josiah Johnson, the man who coached the national soccer team for 15 years, is the genius who coined the consolation phrase: “Football is like biscuit,” meaning that when you intend to break it on a certain line, it unexpectedly breaks elsewhere else.
What about that philosophy for the BYC versus Stade Malien return-leg match?
Now comes the big one. I am talking about the incredible performance of Monrovia Club Breweries over JS Kabylie of Algeria in the CAF Confederation Cup assignment.
The Algerian champions fell 3-0; an incredible score that Coach Samuel Saploh was moved to confess was a surprise.
Playing the return leg on Sunday in Algeria, the Liberian side is prepared to play against any attempt by the Algerians to dream about scoring an incredible score of 4-0 with their aged players against young and skillful players that made them run out of gas after the first half in Monrovia, and exposed their weakness that led to their horrible defeat.