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Liberia’s 3-1 Loss Against Congo, What Went Wrong?

The Congo verses Liberia match in Brazzaville, Congo at the Stade Alphonse Massamba-Debat, was a reminder to head coach Thomas Kojo and his technical staff that more works need to be done in the defense of the Liberia national football team, Lone Star, when it comes to defending and intercepting crosses from the flanks.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We lost, it’s football, anything can happen. We did our best but we couldn’t win. All the three goals came from crosses which we did not defend well. Defensively we were poor and we conceded,”[/perfectpullquote]

head coach Thomas Kojo said in a post-match press conference.

With the presence of midfielders Murphy Dorley and Allen Njie in the middle of the pack, the Lone Star had nothing to worry about with regards to ball control and creativity in the midfield. Dorley’s ability to superbly control the ball and drive through his opponents’ half, combined with Njie’s aptitude of pressurizing opponents caused trouble for the Congolese as the two maintained their dominance in the midfield throughout the game.

Unfortunately, the team’s defense became a stumbling block to the two midfielders’ efforts. The defenders inability to divert crosses in their control area made it possible for the Congolese to bag home three goals and collect all three points.

Defender Adolphus Marshall’s performance in the 67 minutes played was another reminder that the center-back is being misplaced as left-back on the team as he struggled to perform to expectation in the position.

The inability of Spanish-born Liberian goalkeeper Boison Wynney to properly communicate with his full-backs was and remains a contributing factor to better coordination in the Lone Star’s defense.

In spite of the team’s poor defensive work, the attacking force could have done much better as they had the needed support from the midfield. Kpah Sherman, making his first start for his national team, had a better performance in pressurizing the Congolese to get the ball upfront, but struggled to get a better coordination with skipper William Jebor and also lost focus in his finishing touches, which created a dark cloud on his overall performance in the game.

On the other hand, skipper Jebor struggled to get his normal rhythm of the game from the initial stage until he sustained an injury on his left knee that kept him out of the first half. Although he recovered in the second half, but Congolese goalkeeper Chancel Massa was in the right position to deny the Lone Star Skipper.

The Lone Star are now left with a huge task to secure a must win victory at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports complex on Tuesday, October 16, or remain as participants of Group G.


Featured Image: Anthony Kokoi

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