Eight counties, including Nimba, Gbarpolu, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Margibi, Lofa, Bong, and Bomi have progressed to the quarterfinals of the 2018/2019 National County Sports Meet football category.
Nimba County, with just a point needed to qualify to the last eight of the competition, did exactly what they needed to do by settling to a goalless draw against Montserrado County. The draw summed up Nimba’s points to five out of their three preliminary games, thus securing their spot in the last eight.
Group I runners-up Gbarpolu, who were considered as underdogs from the early stage of the competition, needed a win, and similar to their opponents Sinoe, but it was Gbarpolu that emerged victorious by pinning Sinoe 1-0 at the Sanniquellie Sports Stadium in Nimba County to join Nimba as the two winners of Group I.
In the kickball category, Sinoe and Nimba counties were the two group winners that booked their tickets to Monrovia for the last eight.
Comprising of three teams, Grand Gedeh was in the waiting position, hoping for one team to win in order to finish as runners-up of the group. Excitingly for Grand Gedeh, Maryland got the anticipated result by edging out Grand Bassa 1-0 at the Albert T. White stadium in Zewdru. Maryland finished atop of the group with four points, while Grand Gedeh finished in second with two points.
In kickball, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh girls finished as winners of the group to progress to the quarterfinals of the competition.
It was a dramatic scene at the Nancy B. Doe Sports Stadium in Kakata, Margibi County as Grand Kru shockingly exited this year’s edition of the competition after winning their first two games. With just a point needed to qualify like Nimba, Grand Kru County frustratingly bow out the country’s biggest sporting event after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Lofa County who finished as runners-up in the group. Earlier, Margibi County finished as winners of the group after comfortably defeating Grand Cape Mount County 5-1. Abraham Kamara was the hero after begging home a hat-trick-his fourth in the competition.
In kickball, Lofa finished as winners of the group. They defeated Grand Kru 1-0 home runs, their second win out of three and were followed by Margibi as runners-up.
C.H. Deway Sports stadium was another dramatic scene. Group leaders River Gee, after collecting four points from two games, also needed a draw to qualify, unfortunately, this was not the case. They bow to a 1-0 defeat against host county Bomi,, who finished as runners-up of the group.
In the other group game, Bong County secured the biggest victory in the preliminaries after dumping Rivercess County 6-0, thus finishing atop the group with seven points out of three games.
It was the kickball team of the same group winners (Bong and Bomi) that qualified for the quarterfinals in the kickball category.
The quarterfinals of the competition will commence on January 5, 2018 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. Prior to that, the eight teams will be welcomed to Monrovia with a dinner with Chief Patron of sports George Weah.
source:Daily Observer /Photo by Anthny Kokoi