Young United midfielder Mo Sangare converted a crucial penalty to help fire Liberia to a 3-1 win over Sierra Leone in the First Round of African qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Having entered the fray as a second-half substitute, Sangare had been on the pitch for less than ten minutes when he rolled the ball home from 12 yards to restore the Lone Stars’ lead against their near neighbours, sparking wild celebrations at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.
Teammate Sam Johnson – who plies his trade for Real Salt Lake in the MLS – notched a third for the home side in the final minute of normal time.
It means that Liberia – now managed by Englishman Peter Butler, once of West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United – find themselves in a strong position to progress to the Second Round of African qualifiers, which begin in March next year.
Anything less than a two-goal defeat will do for the Lone Stars when they make the short trip to Freetown for the second leg, a game which takes place at 4.30pm BST on Sunday.