HARD ACT TO FOLLOW
LISCR congratulates Liberia with former players’ significant contribution
By Danesius Marteh
The Liberian International Shipping & Corporate Registry Football Club (LISCR FC) has congratulated Liberia for an history achievement by beating Guinea Bissau 3-1 on Tuesday and 4-2 on aggregate in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
LISCR FC said it is delighted to have seen a former youth player, William Jerbo, scored a hat-trick for Liberia, making it his fifth international goal, having scored against Togo and Guinea Bissau.
According to a senior officer, Avi Zaidenberg, LISCR are proud to continue to contribute to football.
“We are proud to contribute to football in Liberia, especially so because it is the single most unifying element in Liberia and through football Liberians can increase their sense of national pride and foster national unity and reconciliation.
“LISCR will continue to provide valuable support to Liberia’s football agenda as a true and committed partner of the Liberian government and people. We take this opportunity to congratulate all Liberians today for the superb victory against Guinea Bissau away from home and the first time in 14 years,” said Zaidenberg in a press release.
LISCR FC goalie Tommy Songo was selected as the first among equals to start ahead of Saylee Swen of LPRC Oilers and Sampson Giddings of FC Fassell.
It was Songo’s debut away from home and with 10,000 spectators cheering against him.
It was also a burdensome task of keeping a good performance and the team won a World Cup qualifier for the first time since beating Sierra Leone 1-0 on July 14, 2001.
And there is a saying that behind every successful husband is a dedicated and strong wife.
With football, it is a truism that behind every good footballer, there is a good team and or coach.
A good footballer is a product of a good football team and its technical staff.
When a team builds up a footballer’s potential, other teams begin to notice him.
Songo’s selection followed a splendid performance in the national league, especially during the championship play-offs with Nimba United where he made point-blank saves, including a penalty.
He was not the only LISCR player, who started Tuesday’s game.
Songo was joined by Solomon Grimes, who has virtually seized the right back position.
Left back Gizzie Dorbor later replaced Adolphus Marshall with midfielder Marcus Macaulay and defender Trokon Zeon serving as unused substitutes.
When Liberia beat Uganda 2-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on March 24, 2013 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex, two former LISCR players—Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh and Anthony Laffor—were the scorers.
Wleh and Laffor come to national prominence when their careers started
with a major boost at LISCR FC.
Both players admitted that they owed a lot to the role played by LISCR FC in their professional upbringing.
In the past, corporate sponsorship of football clubs was limited to state owned-enterprises such as Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), National Port Authority (NPA), Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and Liberia Telecommunications Corporation (LTC).
Today, LISCR have taken the lead in corporate sponsorship of football in
Liberia and have sponsored many tournaments, including the Soccer For Hope initiatives.
And the LISCR family is getting the benefit of their investment by greatly helping the national team with its forward march.
Wleh, who plays for PKNS FC in the Malaysian Premier League, is on loan from LISCR and recently signed an improved deal.
Known as Ronaldinho for his physical morphology and his dazzling skills, Wleh was invited by Liberia head coach James Salinsa Debbah for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with Guinea Bissau but pulled-out due to injury.
Wleh has scored four international goals: Cape Verde (on March 26, 2011); Mali (on October 8, 2011); Nigeria (on October 13, 2012) and Uganda (on March 24, 2013) and scored for a Malaysian IX against Liverpool in a pre-season friendly on July 24.
When Debbah was asked about Wleh’s exclusion since he took over last November, he said: “Well, I am the coach of the national team. I select players based on what I see and not what the fans want.”
Laffor plays for South African premier league side Mamelodi Sundown and once captained the national team.
He spent almost five seasons with LISCR before joining Obausi Goldfield of Ghana and later played for Jomo Cosmo and Super Sports United in South Africa.
Jebor made his senior debut with LPRC Oilers in 2008, aged 17, after previously representing LISCR FC as a youth.
In the 2009 summer, he moved abroad for the first time in his career, signing for Syrian Premier League side Taliya SC.
In 2010 Jebor switched teams and countries again, joining Egyptaian second division club Tersana SC.
After a short spell at El-Sharqeya lel-Dokhan, he moved to El-Geish SC in the Egyptian premier league.
Jebor made his debut for the club on 3 February 2013, starting in a 0–1 away loss against Ismaily SC, and scored his first goal for the club on 12 March, netting the first in a 2–1 home win against El Mokawloon SC.
He finished the campaign with 10 goals, being the tournament's top scorer; highlights included a hat-trick in a 3–2 home success over Ittihad El Shorta on 7 May.
In January 2014 Jebor switched clubs and countries again, after agreeing to a six-month loan deal with Al-Ahli Tripoli SC.
On 5 August he signed a four-year contract with Portuguese side Rio Ave FC.
Jebor made his Primeira Liga debut on 13 September 2014, coming on as a second-half substitute for Renan Bressan in a 1–1 draw at Moreirense FC.
He scored his first goal for the club on 30 April of the following year, netting his team's only in a 1–1 Taça de Portugal home draw against SC Braga.
On 28 July 2015 Jebor was loaned to SD Ponferradina in a season-long deal.
Macaulay, who plays for Al Ahli Sports Club in Jordan, is the latest former LISCR player to be called-up to the senior national team and played his first game under Debbah in the first leg.
Known as Master Piece, he played his first World Cup match when Liberia lost 4-1 to Angola at Tundavala National Stadium in Lubango in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on September 7, 2013.
Macaulay featured in LISCR’s 3-1 aggregate defeat to Cameroon’s Union Douala in the preliminary round of the 2013 African Champions League.
Having made his debut in a 4-1 defeat to Mali in a 2006 World Cup qualifier, Dorbor went into the international wilderness.
But he was recalled by Debbah following impressive performances for Hapoel Afula in the Israeli second division.
Dorbor played the full 90 minutes against Tunisia and Guinea Bissau and came on in the 81st minute for Adolphus Marshall in the second leg. Dorbor can function as a left back, in central defense or in midfield.
With more than 15 caps, Grimes has been the undisputed right back for Liberia. He played for LISCR before moving to Europe in search of greener pasture.