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William Jerbo’s hat-trick breaks 14-years record as Liberia beat Guinea Bissau in 2018 World Cup qualifier

13 Oct 2015
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With reigning African champions Ivory Coast in-waiting 
William Jerbo’s hat-trick breaks 14-years record as Liberia beat Guinea Bissau in 2018 World Cup qualifier  

ARCHITECTS OF THEIR FORTUNES 

 

Danesius Marteh, danesius.marteh@frontpageafricaonline.com 

  

 

 

 

 

Is William ‘Filippo Inzaghi’ Jerbo the new wonder boy of Liberian football?  

 

Is Jerbo the new celebrated star, replacing head coach James Salinsa Debbah? And has Jerbo set a new Liberian record for hat-trick?  

 

On loan at Sociedad Deportiva Ponferradina in the Segunda Division in Spain from Portugal’s Rio Ave, Jerbo apparently has what Liberia has been lacking since the famous George Weah-IX left the international scenes. 

 

Jerbo scored two goals within four minutes at the 10,000-seater Estádio Nacional 24 de Setembro to give Liberia a two-goal lead against Guinea Bissau in a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Bissau on October 13.  

 

He scored in the eighth minute against the run of play from an Anthony Snothi Laffor assist and doubled his tally in the 12th minute but Ibraime Cassamá reduced the deficit in the 43rd minute.  

 

But Jerbo completed his hat-trick in the 96th minute to confirm Liberia’s first away win (and 4-2 on aggregate) in a World Cup qualifier since beating Sierra Leone 1-0, courtesy of a George Weah 72nd minute header, at the Siaka Stephens national sports stadium in Freetown in a 2002 World Cup qualifier on July 14, 2001.  

 

With five goals in seven games since debuting against Syria in a three-nation tournament in Damascus in October 2009, Jerbo has written his name in the Liberian Hall of Fame with his hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier.  

 

He’s the first Liberian player to have scored a hat-trick in the competition and could go down in history as the first player to have scored three goals in a single match for Liberia.   

 

There was not much to hope for with Liberia having conceded a very cheap goal in the 63rd minute to draw 1-1 in the first leg at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on October 8.  

 

It was Jerbo who converted a 36th minute penalty when Malaysia-based Patrick Gerhardt of Sarawak was brought down in the box after he tried to expertly dribble through the defense from a Zah Krangar through ball.  

 

But defender Malado Reld Anido reacted well to head home a Zezinho shot, which was poorly blocked by goalie Saylee Swen, after the rebound fell kindly into his path.  

 

Zezinho could have found the equalizer in the 56th minute when he easily drove through the defense before defender Solomon Grimes averted the danger. 

 

Swen, who was virtually on a holiday, was only called into action with the visitors’ first real attempt on goal, fumbling with the ball in what others may describe as man against nature. 

 

With Zezinho’s thumping shot in a scorching sunlight, Swen must have been caught pants down but should have parried the ball away to safety.    

From that moment, the visitors depicted the pace, which was characterized by unnecessary time wasting from the medics and players before Bocundji Ca was booked for unnecessarily kicking the ball out of play in the 67th minute.  

 

Liberia should have put the game to bed in the first half but Francis Grandpa Doe and Jerbo, who scored two superb goals in a practice match on October 7, were guilty of near misses to the disbelief of the spectators.  

 

First, Jerbo miscued a Doe cross on six minutes and Doe’s header, courtesy of a Krangar cross, went agonizingly over the goal line by the narrowest of margin in the 15th minute.  

 

On 43 minutes, Doe drove home a ground shot against the run of play but it was easily saved by goalkeeper Jonas Asvedo Mendes before another missed chance, having eliminated two markers with only Mendes at his mercy on the stroke of half time.    

 

With a lion share of possession, which amounted to few chances and a happy half time lead, coach Debbah was understandably frustrated at the final whistle.  

 

“I am disappointed of the fact that we didn’t play the second half up to expectation. We weren’t tactically disciplined and the evitable happened. This is a team; I am not going to hold a particular player [for the result]. 

 

“Everybody is point finger to Saylee Swen. Yes, Saylee Swen made a mistake but then the ball came back and nobody was there. So it is the entire team. I am not going to hold or shift blame on one person. We didn’t really play good in the second half,” he said in a post-match interview with FrontPageAfrica.  

 

But coach Debbah, who was appointed in November 2014 and had drawn two, won one and lost two matches, didn’t give-up on the return leg.  

 

“In football, anything can happen. We have to go to Guinea Bissau and play as hard as possible and scored an away goal too. But I know it is going to be difficult but, in football, there is always a possibility,” Debbah added. 

 

And he was correct with his prediction, although the records were stacked against Liberia.  

 

Along with the technical staff, Debbah made two changes from the first leg, replacing Swen with Tommy Songo and Doe with Dioh Williams, which paid  

dividends.  

 

But the game was overshadowed with the news that Doe was dropped by Debbah hours to the team’s departure for family reasons.  

 

Liberia will meet the reigning African champions Ivory Coast in the next round on November 9 at the ATS and the return leg takes place in Abidjan on November 17. 

 

The team is expected in Monrovia on Thursday to a rousing welcome.  After a spark-less 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, and moody striker Francis Doe dropped, Jebor who has been over shadowed by Doe took the initiative by scoring a hattrick, the first Liberian ever to do so as the Lone Star broke the jinx after 14 years and 89 days for the Lone Star to win a competitive match away. 

Linked with French clubs Nantes and Nice, Italian club Verona, and Portuguses club Benfica, the 24 year old former LISCR reject and Oilers danger man has statistically become the best Liberia striker ever in scoring a hattrick and has the best game per goal rotio, scoring five goal in five games as the Elephants of Ivory Coast come lurking in November this year. Jebor from a statistically, Jebor is better that any Liberian striker. 

Congratulations to Debbah, Jebor and co as the Lone Star have ousted the Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau 3-1, thus qualifying on a 4-2 goal aggregate. 

After a spark-less 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium, and moody striker Francis Doe dropped, Jebor who has been over shadowed by Doe took the initiative by scoring a hattrick, the first Liberian ever to do so as the Lone Star broke the jinx after 14 years and 89 days for the Lone Star to win a competitive match away. 

Linked with French clubs Nantes and Nice, Italian club Verona, and Portuguses club Benfica, the 24 year old former LISCR reject and Oilers danger man has statistically become the best Liberia striker ever in scoring a hattrick and has the best game per goal rotio, scoring five goal in five games as the Elephants of Ivory Coast come lurking in November this year. Jebor from a statistically, Jebor is better that any Liberian striker. 

Congratulations to Debbah, Jebor and co as the Lone Star have ousted the Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau 3-1, thus qualifying on a 4-2 goal aggregate. 

 

Guinea Bissau: 1-Mendes, 3-Cande, 5-Ibraime Cassamá, 6-Eridson, 7-Zezinho, 9-Cicero, 10-Bucundji Ca (capt.) (15-Ansa Fati 76’), 11-Amido Balde (18-Piqueti 45+1’), 13-Sami, 17-Ivanildo (8-Ibrahima So 90+2’), 22-Mamadu Cande.  

 

Unused substitutes: Germano Luis Mendes and Emilio Da Silva   

Liberia: 18-Tommy Songo, 2-Adolphus Marshall (4-Gizzie Dorbor 81’), 3-Teah Dennis, 5-Dirkir Glay, 6-Patrick Gerhardt, 8-Solomon Grimes, 9-Dioh Williams (13-Abel Gebor 82’), 10-William Jerbo, 11-Zah Kranger, 17-Sam Johnson and 18-Anthony Laffor. 

 

Unused substitutes: 7-Seku Conneh, 12-Trokon Zeon, 14-Oscar Dorley, 19-Marcus Macaulay, 21-Alpha James and 22-Raymond Fanciah. 

  

Nigerian match officials: Ferdinand UDOH, center referee; Peter EDIBI, assistant referee #1; Temitope OROWOLE, assistant referee #2 and Benjamin ODEY, fourth officials

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