Liberia goes to Kampala for the 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier with a 32- man team headed by George Weah as the curtains come off the Kampala Namboole Stadium, with the Cranes and their opponents slotting it out in a tango. Reports say it is a crucial tie for the two countries.
Liberia will be aiming to win at Namboole to prove that West African football (soccer) is still the dominant football on the continent and to improve on its previous win, while Uganda will be looking to prevail under the much heralded Serbian Coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevi?, and a talented Uganda team that have won four consecutive Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations [CECAFA] trophies from 2008-2012 under the guidance of Bobby Williamson, the Scotsman who got the boot for falling on the sword in Liberia at the Monrovia Sports complex, when the Cranes lost 2-0 in March this year.
Liberia currently sits second place in group J that sees Senegal atop the log with five points while Angola and Uganda come second and third respectively. The Lone Stars early departure for Kampala this week shows the team goes to East Africa to acclimatize itself with the local weather and the training facilities there, as the duel with the Cranes comes full circle this weekend.
Liberia will be missing key forward Francis Forkey Doe, who pulled out of the Uganda clash due to last minute illness, and defender Teah Dennis who went missing while on a tryout for DC United few weeks ago in the United States. Both teams last week played friendlies to Iraq in Baghdad, which saw Liberia winning 1-0 and Uganda losing 3-0 in Tripoli, Libya.
A Sports analyst says Uganda home record is really good, and that Liberia fighting to steal a win at Namboole will be tricky, in what has been described as a difficult hunting ground. But coach Jericho Nagbe is confident that his charges are up for the battle in the Cranes backyard, saying “my eye is set on success in Kampala, we are going for the maximum [three] points. My players are focused and prepared to do the job; all of them are in top shape which is good for the away fight”.
The Stars goes to Kampala in what will be a thorny match and a hostile territory with the home fans expected to truck to the 45 thousand capacity filled stadium to cheer their beloved Cranes. The much anticipated match it’s a mêlée that will prove if George Weah was right as he always is when it comes to football [they don’t call him legend for nothing] by recommending Frank Jericho Nagbe and deputy Thomas Kojo for the illustrious Liberia Lone Stars coaching positions.
Liberian Team lineup: Nathaniel Sherman, Mulbah Urey, James Galley, Solomon Wesseh, Francis Jallabah, Aloysius Simujila, Alex Karmo, Herron Berrian, Anthony Laffor, Theo Lewis weeks, Omega Roberts, Tonia Tisdell, Ansu Toure, Alseny Keita, Patrick Wleh, Boakai Foday, Patrick Gerhardt, Sekou Jabateh Oliseh and Zah Kranger
Hawa Wesseh is a freelance Journalist and writes principally for The Liberian Listener