National League

2018 LFA NL : LISCR FC slips to Oilers

LISCR Football Club bowed to the LPRC Oilers on Sunday, September 16 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on the opening day of the second phase of the 2018 First Division League.The Liberia Football Association’s First Division League champions have seen their unbeaten run came to an end.

The Shipping Boys’ unbeaten league campaign came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to the Oil Boys. The match was a revenge for the Oil Boys, who had been defeated several days earlier by LISCR. The Shipping Boys had grabbed an important win over the Oilers to go to the top of Group B but failed to maintain their form in the return leg where they couldn’t score a goal.

On Sunday evening, the Oil Boys showed that they came for revenge with a beautiful start to the match. They controlled the play and made life difficult for LISCR FC that barely held possession of the ball. LISCR FC was without their star midfielder, Sheku Sheriff, while LPRC Oilers made several changes from the side that had initially fallen to LISCR FC. Skillful winger Sidiki Kromah and midfield engineer Ebenezer Solo, both of whom started the first leg on the substitute bench, made the starting 11 in the return leg.

The changes made by the LPRC Oilers proved to be timely for Coach Cooper Sannoh, who saw his team dominating the Shipping Boys. LPRC Oilers’ beautiful start to the match paid off well in the 22nd minute when they took a well-deserved lead. Randy Dukuly got his fourth goal of the league to make life difficult for LISCR FC.

With the early lead, the Oil Boys had total control of the first half and prevented LISCR from scoring in the first 45 minutes. They went to the break with the lead and return stronger in the second half to finish the business. LISCR FC head coach Tapha Manneh introduced Markey Morgan and strikers Mark Paye and Alloy Brown in the second half while in search of an equalizer.

The introduction of the trio changed the pace of the game as LISCR FC searched for an equalizer to level the game. Seven minutes after being introduced, Mark Paye nearly got the score leveled from a set piece. From the edge of the box, Paye struck directly at goal but saw his effort denied by veteran goalkeeper Saylee Swen, who cleared the ball from the goal line with a diving save.

The Shipping Boys didn’t give up the fight for an equalizer as another second-half substitute, Alloy Brown, came close to getting the score leveled. Brown’s header from a Darius Kah cross went just inches off the goal.

The game was finally laid to rest in the added time of the match through an own goal by LISCR goalkeeper Ashley Williams. A header from the Oilers’ Fred Brooks was denied by the crossbar before hitting the head of Ashley Williams to bounce across the line.

The defeat was LISCR FC’s first league defeat under Gambian coach Tapha Manneh. The Shipping Boys won the 2016-17 league undefeated in 22 games. They continued their unbeaten streak in the 2018 season by going undefeated in four games, for a total of 26 matches unbeaten.

LISCR FC’s hopes of finishing at the top of Group B to stand a chance of playing the championship final took a major twist as LPRC Oilers ascended to the top. The three points earned by the Oilers took them at the top of Group B with ten points from five games, one point more than second place, Nimba United. Meanwhile, LISCR FC dropped to the third position in Group B with eight points from 5 games.

source|Bush chicken /T Klay Wesley

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