We Are Not The Underdogs: Liberia’s Head Coach Ansumana Keita Warns South African Coach For the Upcoming Fixture
Liberia Stages Dramatic Comeback to Draw with South Africa in Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier
Liberia’s national football team has staged an impressive comeback to draw 2-2 with South Africa in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier held in Johannesburg. Despite trailing 2-0, the Liberians fought back in the second half to tie the game at 1-1 and then scored a late equalizer to earn a valuable point in their quest to qualify for the tournament.
Ansumana Keita, Liberia’s head coach, was ecstatic after the game and praised his team for their fighting spirit and determination.
“This is my first international game as head coach of Liberia and my first huge game against a big opponent. There were a lot of critics, but now the critics are backing us. It was a tough game, South Africa is a good side and plays good football, but the game is about 90 minutes We were here to compete and we competed. I told my players at halftime to keep calm, focused and just go. I am happy we got the result,” he said.
Keita’s comments were echoed by the Liberian players, who expressed their joy at the result and their determination to win the return fixture in Monrovia next weekend.
“This is a great result for us. We showed our fighting spirit and never gave up. We knew we had to get a result here to keep our hopes alive, and we did it. Now we have to focus on the next game and try to win it,” said Liberia’s captain, Teah Dennis.
The draw leaves both Liberia and South Africa with one point from two matches, and with Morocco already qualified in the three-team Group K, the pressure is on Bafana to battle for the single remaining slot.
South Africa’s head coach, Molefi Ntseki, admitted that his team had let the victory slip away and that they would need to regroup quickly for the return leg.
“It’s disappointing to concede two goals in the second half, especially after dominating the first half. We need to work on our concentration and make sure we don’t let leads slip away. The return leg will be tough, but we will give it our all,” he said.
The match was played in front of a capacity crowd at the FNB Stadium, which is one of the biggest stadiums in Africa and hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup final. The atmosphere was electric, with both sets of fans cheering their teams on throughout the game.
The Africa Cup of Nations is one of the most prestigious football tournaments in the world and is held every two years. The tournament features the best national teams from across Africa and is a showcase of the continent’s footballing talent.
Liberia has never won the tournament but has qualified for it twice in the past, in 1996 and 2002. The country’s football association is hoping that the current crop of players can emulate those achievements and bring glory to the nation.
South Africa, on the other hand, has won the tournament once, in 1996, and has been a regular participant in the tournament since its inception in 1957. The country’s football association is under pressure to ensure that the team qualifies for the tournament, as failure to do so would be seen as a major disappointment.
The return leg between Liberia and South Africa will be played at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia on 2 April and is expected to attract a capacity crowd. The stakes will be high, as both teams will be looking to secure a crucial victory that could take them one step closer to qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.
In conclusion, Liberia’s draw against South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier was a remarkable achievement