By: Christopher Walker
Bamako, Mali-Barrack Young Controllers produced as complete a performance they had last season to dismiss Stade Malien by a score of 7-6 on penalties shoot out in Mali. Though the home team were well-organized and attacked on numerous occasions with pace.
Stade Malien De Bamako the Champions of Mali had no answers for the tempo and precision of a well-designed Cooper Sannah/BYC defensive tactics and good precise passing through the midfield which was at times a joy to watch.
The Liberian Champions were very strong from the midfield to defense, with Sylvanus Morris, Abraham Koffa Dougbeh, and David Tweh, been a brilliant trio of playmakers. Prince Jetoh, Kemoh Kamara, Hilton Varney, and Prince Kennedy were excellent at the back; while Allenton Sembeh was extra brilliant in goal for the “Go Blue Boys,” making several one on one saves and saving three crucial penalties, including the last one for the win.
If there were any black marks, they were against the finishing of strikers Van-Dave Harmon, and Mark Paye in the first half; had they been more accurate, this would doubtless may have been a rout.
Manager: Ratings (1-10; 10=best)
Copper Sannah: (8/10) --Made only one change in his starting lineup and still got a resounding victory away from home. His ability to do that, stands his team in excellent stead for their qualification to the second round of the CAF Champions League.
Player ratings: Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Allenton Sembeh: (9.5/10) --Was sharp whenever called upon in either half, hanging on to well-struck drives and calmly clearing his lines when under substantial pressure from forwards. Made six real saves throughout the game and collected most of the areas balls. He saved three crucial penalties with two been score and win. Converted his own penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way. named Man of the Match.
DF Prince Kennedy: (8/10)--Excellent again. Was seldom troubled down his flank, and when getting forward his crosses were not too good.
Defended well with good air power.
DF Prince Jetoh: (8.5/10)--He made his defensive assignment look far simpler than it was. He stopped his opponents with strength , while also passing with pace and precision. Intercepted balls frequently; head injury sustained, but continue and ended the match.
DF Kemoh Kamara: (8/10)--Had a couple of uncomfortable moments in the first half as his opposite man attempted could not elude him . His missed penalty ended his display on a disappointing note.
DF Hilton Varney: (7/10)--His eye for a pass was essential to BYC second -half possession, during which he could often be found breaking forward. Had a tougher first half as Malien national team member Abubarcar Diarra harassed Varney with his full array of tricks.
MF Sylvanus Morris: (8.5/10)--A key reason for BYC maintenance of an extraordinary defensive displayed by the Liberian Champions. Endlessly prompted the attack and screened his defense throughout.
MF Abraham Dougbeh: (8/10)--His runs forward both with and without the ball were good . He was again a tough mid-fielder in dispossessing his opponents, and spread the play with ease.
MF Gideon Williams: (6/10)--His touch, movement and vision were not good, as he gave away the ball to his opponents regularly, was good at wining balls; poor in his final delivery.
MF David Tweh: (8/10)--The only thing that his super performance was missing was a fight for winning the ball defensively had his defensive ability been better, he might have been the Player of the Match. from start to finish, his first-time passing was exceptional.
FW Mark Paye: (7/10) -- He regularly raced past multiple players on the dribble, combined beautifully with Van-Dave, finishing poor
FW Van-Dave Harmon: (7/10) -- Should have scored the first goal of the match from a Sylvanus Morris pass in the first half. His link-up play, particularly with Paye, was very good throughout, and his one-touch passing in tight spaces was typically outstanding. Scored the last penalty of BYC before Sembeh save the Malian penalty to seal the victory.
MFS Junior Barshall: (NR)-- His passing was not fairly prompt; he got into dangerous attacking positions, though these were not fully exploited by him.
MF Sporo Somah: (NR)--Immediately made his trademark run cutting in from the left, and his pace further stretched an already strong Stade Malien defense.
MF Abdulai Bility: (NR)-- By the time he entered the fray, it was all over, with BYC patiently playing keep-ball to run down the clock. Netted his penalty during the shoot-out.