EAGLES BREAK 27-YEAR OLD LIBERIA JINX!
: Feb 16, 2012
The Super Eagles broke a 27-year old jinx yesterday when they defeated the Lone Star of Liberia 2-0 at the Antoinnette Tubman Stadium in Central Monrovia.
The record shows that since the era of the late Samuel K. Doe, whom many Liberians regard as “The Father of the Promotion of Liberian Football,” the Lone Star of Liberia has never tasted defeat on home soil to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The Lone Star defeated Nigeria 2-0 during the Eight-Nation Zone 3 tournament in 1987.
The following year, history was repeated as the Eagles bowed to the Lone Star, 1-2 at the 1988 Olympic qualifiers. More recently, in the 2002 World Cup Qualifiers,the Lone Star thrashed the Eagles, 2-1.
All these counted for nothing however when Stephen Keshi led out a bunch of home-based players to rewrite the record books.
The match was watched by Liberian President, Ellen Sirlif Johnson, who took the kick-off at exactly 6pm , Nigerian time. The friendly match was actually organised to mark her inauguration as President of Liberia for a second term.
Liberia took the kick-off and took the fight to the Nigerians but desperate headers and shots from Alpha James, Martins Karadu and Isaac Pupo, were repelled by Papa Idris, Azubuike Egwueke and skipper and goalkeeper of the side Chigozie Agbim.
The Nigerians however responded swiftly and scored the first goal with their first real attack when Reuben Gabriel's clever pass was neatly slotted in by Sunday Mba for the first goal in the 9th minute.
From then on, it was Nigeria all the way as the Liberians suddenly realised that the Eagles were the better of the two sides and the 18,000 seater stadium was kept quiet by the Nigerians' gallant display.
It was going to be a matter of time before the second goal came and that happened in the 30minute when a pass from Ejike Uzoenyi, again found a lurking Mba who coolly took his chance to further deflate the hosts.
Several other chances were created by the Nigerians, but centre referee Ebeneser Konah and his two assistants Augustine Gooding and Sylvester Johnson ensured that the Eagles do not rub more salt on their hosts' injuries with questionable off-side calls and freekicks.
Keshi said at the end of the encounter that the players have fulfilled their own part of the bargain in the rebuilding process but warned the job has just started.
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