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|Embarrassing Show: Why Lone Star Lost to Super Eagles in Calabar||| Print ||
|Written by Danesius Marteh, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Monday, 15 October 2012 00:48|
Calabar, Nigeria - Nigeria are through to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in South Africa after rippling Liberia apart at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on
A John Mikel Obi-led midfield help an under-pressured Nigeria put six goals past their visitors with just a reply.
Not many expected the high score line judging from the first leg that ended 2-2 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex in Paynesville on September 8.
But Efe Ambrose rose unmarked to head home a Victor Moses’ free kick after Ahmed Musa was fouled close to the penalty box with barely 30 seconds on the clock.
Liberia mounted a spirited comeback when Isaac Pupo clinically connected Tonia Tisdell, who sandwiched two opponents down the left touchline but his resultant cross hit the left hand of Ambrose, which was ignored by South African referee Daniel Bennett.
It would have been a different game with a converted penalty and no wonder why some English journalists have argued that Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal adversely affected England’s performance against Germany during the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.
Minutes later, Obi initiated a move that saw Emmanuel Emenike scoring the second goal in the 37th minute.
Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh had a chance to reduce the margin when his well-placed effort was parried away by Vincent Enyeama, who was virtually on a holiday, for a corner kick.
The first half ended 2-0.
Minutes back from recess, Victor Moses grabbed his first international goal to make it 3-0.
Obi capped his return under coach Stephen Keshi with a perfect kick from the spot in the 51st minute when Nathaniel Sherman fouled goal-bound Nosa Igiebor.
Substitute Ike Uche made it 5-1 in the 62nd minute after exchanging passes with Obi, Moses and Emeneke.
Bennett then rubbed salt into Liberia’s wounds by giving captain George Gebro his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Gebro, who was put through on goal by Zah Kranger, was professionally chopped in the penalty box by Enyeama, but he was perceived to have dived—an incident that forced the goalie to apologize to his opponent after the game.
Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh pulled a goal back for Liberia in the 80th minute but it was too little too late.
And Moses found his second goal in superb fashion in the 88th minute to qualify his country 8-2 on aggregate.
So Liberians will have to wait for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers slated for Tripoli, Libya after an embarrassing showdown, reminiscing a 2006 World Cup qualifier in which Liberia lost 6-1 Senegal on March 26, 2005 in Dakar.
The avalanche of goals killed hopes of an expected party in Calabar among fewer fans taken to Calabar and back home.
In fact, an unpleased Liberia Football Association (LFA) vice president Musa Shannon ordered all fans to immediately packed their belongs to head to Monrovia onboard the chartered 94-seated Starbow aircraft.
Meanwhile LFA president Musa Bility has expressed shock and dismay over the team’s poor performance.
Bility said the LFA will await a technical report from the coaching staff on what led to the defeat, which will be deliberated by the executive committee.
He is commending all Liberians for their morale and financial support and is also calling on everyone to stop shifting blame on individual players for the defeat.
So what led to the team’s defeat?
From all indications, a technical report should sum it up but the LFA diligently played its part with the provision of a training camp in Accra, Ghana and a friendly match in Niamey, Niger.
Evidently, the players didn’t do well and FrontPageAfrica understands that coach Kaetu Smith has asked them to apologize to the nation for a dismal performance.
History was about to be made but Liberians will have to wait for a while to find out what denies them out that feat.
Liberia: 1-Nathaniel Sherman, 2-Tonia Tisdell (12-Eddie Boakai Foday), 3-Teah Dennis, 5-Zah Kranger, 8-Alseny Keita (7-Ansu Toure), 10-Sekou Jabateh-Oliseh, 11-Isaac Pupo, 15-Solomon Wesseh, 17-George Gebro, 18-Solomon Grimes and 19-Edward Junior Wilson (13-Patrick Wleh).
Unused substitutes: 4-Theo Weeks, 6-Trokon Zeon, 9-Marcus Macaulay and 16-James Galley.