Liberia Qualifies for 2013 Nations Cup Group Stage
Lone Star Captain George Gebro and team mates celebrate
Liberia qualification for the 2013 Nations Cup Group
By: Fombah Kanneh
Windhoek, Namibia-Liberian National team ,the Lone Star has
qualified for th the group of the 2013 African Cup of
Nations finals in South Africa.
Liberia held Namibia to goalless draw in Windhoek on
Saturday evening to progress 1-0 on aggregate in the 2013
CAF AFCON qualifiers. After a fairly contested 30 minutes
the game somewhat came alive in the last fifteen minutes as
Namibia’s Da Costa Angula attacked a floated cross by Willy
Stephanus only to see it go wide. At the other end, Sekou
Oliseh combined well with his strike partner Patrick Wleh to
force the Namibia keeper Virgil Vries to punch away as Wleh
looked to head home.
The second half was livelier as Namibia, in desperation of
the elusive goal, took the game to the disciplined and calm
Liberia team that had Teah Dennis, Solomon Grimes, Omega
Roberts, George Gebro and Jimmy Dixon very solid in defense,
thwarting every chance the hosts created.
Stephanus contributed to chances created from the right
flank sending in crosses time and again mainly looking for
the head of veteran striker Henrico Botes, but it was not to
be as Liberia maintained their discipline and defended well.
Oliseh lead the line well for Liberia, shielding the balls
off Namibian defenders and linking up play with decisive
touches and confidence on the ball.
Namibia coach Bernard Kaanjuka, sensing that time was
running out, took off Stephanus and Petrus Shitembi and on
came Tangeni Shipahu and Hendrick Somaeb, but the duo too
failed to get the much needed effect on the game.
Namibia should have got their elusive goal with 18 minutes left, as
Heinrich Isaacks was played one-on-one with Liberia number
one Nathaniel Sherman, but Isaacks shot low and it was
comfortable block for Sherman with his feet to keep his side
well on course for qualification to the next round of the
2013 AFCON qualifiers.
Liberia too had changes as Wleh came off for Perry Kollie as
they set to freshen up their side . With eight minutes
to go, Namibia could have got the lead on the night and draw
themselves level on aggregate as Somaeb got a chance to head
home from a Eslin Kamuhanga cross, but the midfielder could
not quite make the desired contact as towering Liberian
defender Omega Alamadine put him under pressure.
Liberia continued to frustrate the Namibians later on as
they held onto the ball well and got onto good positions but
the killer punch evaded both sides on the night and thus the
match finished goalless. Liberia are through to the final
round of qualifying for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on an
aggregate 1-0 result courtesy of a home win by that same
score line from the first leg in Monrovia in February.
Bernard Kaanjuka (Namibia coach): “Today luck totally
deserted us. We created a lot of chances and the boys just
couldn’t put them away. We dominated the final 10 minutes of
the first half and the second half but we are disappointed
with the final outcome. The players got frustrated as time
went on and everyone wanted to take a chance at goal and so
there was no calmness, the players lacked experience and
with these games, they can learn and gain that experience
for the future.”
Joseph Smith (Liberia coach ): “We came here well prepared.
We prepared the players very well mentally and the
discipline was the key issue for us. We didn’t want to give
away any advantages and the plan worked today. We played so
well defensively and went forward when we could. At this
level of football, the most important thing is getting the
result like this and we are proud of that because now we go
through to the next round of the qualifiers for the African
Cup of Nations that makes me proud as a coach as well.”