By Christopher C. Walker, Mamos Tv, Liberia
The National Football team of Liberia was on Sunday thrashed 3-0 by Zimbabwe in the 2019 nations Cup qualifiers held in Harare.
Liberia playing away from home did not impress fans back home due to the team’s lack of confidence throughout the match as the Red, White and Blue Boys were running after their own showdowns throughout the match.
Coach James Debbah said Liberia show no class during the match because they lack the power to control the game. He added that Zah Krangar , Mark Paye and Sylvanus Nimely were all not impressive allowing the home side to dominate all departments of the game.
Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona hit a hat-trick as the Brave Warriors outclassed an unimpressed Liberia Lone Star. The home side dominated the play as several of the local players failed to impress in Debbah 4-5-1 system that put lots of the players out of the match as they could only chase the shadows of their opponents.
Lone Star played the entire match under pressure with the visitors easily given the ball away on several occasions.
Liberia found making accurate passes difficult, thereby given rooms to the home team to keep the visitors in their own half.
The Lone Star center defense could not withstand the pressure; as such they resulted to kicking long balls in their opponents’ half with Liberia’s lone striker, Mark Paye having not much to do as his head-ups went to the opponents easily.
Belgium based Knowledge Musona who was denied earlier on two occasions by Liberia new shot stopper, Boison Wynney De Souza, got behind the Liberian backline in the 23rd minute to beat the Brazilian born Liberian keeper on his fourth attempt.
The West Africans should have leveled four minutes later when a clear chance came to Sylvanus Nimely who could only fly the ball over the Zimbabwean keeper ending the first half1-0 in favor of the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
The Lone Star was contained up front by 21 year-old Teenage Hadebe who was mourning the loss of his mother who died Friday June 9, 2017.
He said he was putting in everything he had to ensure Zimbabwe won the match as a tribute to his late mother.
The Liberian players did not lack skills or talents, but they just could not express those skills and talents against Zimbabwe who were very cautious of the Lone Star.
Speaking to the press at the end of the game, Lone Star Coach James Debbah said his side lost due to inexperience and the absence of his key players.
He however said he is of the conviction that the Lone Star will qualify over Zimbabwe.
The former Liberian international now coach said once he gets all of his key players, the Lone Star will get the needed points.
Sunday’s defeat means, the Lone Star begin the 2019 CAF Nations Cup qualifying campaign as the under-dogs in Group G, who every team will beat in the group.
Many Liberians have called on the LFA to part ways with Debbah but there are several sides of the story on who to be blame for the unacceptable defeat.
Debbah who play football at the highest level was caution of the threats from the home side before the match but took a very inexperienced team to face the Warriors.
The Technical staff headed by the former PSG star were aware of the absent of several of their key players but did not make any replacement for them in time for the encounter but hid behind the unavailability of his key players for the match.
Debbah had over a week to replace the legs of Anthony Laffor who suffer a hamstring injury, Alex Nimely who could not make his official debut due to documentation problem as his change of Nationality could not be done in time for the match, while Joel Johnson documentation problem could not be solved.
Alex who was born in Liberia has played for the U 20 team of England but still has the right to represent Liberia his country of birth if only the change of Nationality is done something the LFA has failed to do for the past five years.
Knowing very well that the legs of Nimely, Laffor were ruled out of the match including Jebor who lost his mother days before the game, the Liberian coach did not select his best players both local and internationally.
The former most celebrated Star of Liberia did not call-up the country’s best performers leaving out Francis Grandpa Doe, Theo Weeks, Seku Conneh ,Dauda Bortu and many other players who are currently playing outside of the country.
Many Liberians who spoke to Front-page Africa have blame Debbah for the teams lacks of confidence throughout the match.
Lone Star playing away from home was outclass from start to finished without any instruction from Debbah who appeared lack of tactic throughout the match.
There are calls for Debbah to resign as head coach of the national team because of his poor form in recent time.
Under Debbah Lone Star Star could not hold on to their 2-0 lead against Togo in the 2017 National cup Qualifiers but was only able to settle to a 2-2 draw at home a game Liberia need to win to progress to the Cup of Nations something Liberians feels was because of Debbah’s inexperience in coaching.
While the Liberia Football Association failure to well prepared the team is other major problem of the team’s current performance.
Changing of players nationality according to FIFA does not take over three weeks but Nimely Change of Nationality from been English to Liberian has been over five months after he openly agree to represent Liberia.
The LFA has also not been able to extend invitation to players on time for the Country matches with many of the players complaining of receiving their invitation for the match very late.
Another thing that is affecting Liberian football and the national team is the direct involvement of the President of the LFA in active politics, because he is not interested in football but rather the campaign of the Liberty Party.
Musa Bility who is in his second term at the LFA is the Current Campaign Chair of Liberty Party a position that has focus his entire attention on politics than football.