It was another frustrating scene for players, staff and supporters of champion club Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium after they were sent out of the Knockout Cup by rivals FC Fassel in a 4-2 penalty shootout on Wednesday.
The Go Blue Boys' exit marked their third elimination from three major competitions, including the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and now the Knockout Cup.
As it was in those previous crucial matches where Coach Cooper Sannah and his boys failed to utilize opportunities to advance to their next level, the Go Blue Boys had several opportunities to advance to round-2 of the Knockout Cup and to also bring back smiles on the faces of their supporters, but they failed to utilize their chances.
Similar to the previous meeting between the two sides when BYC took the lead at the Blue Field, they also repeated the same after striker Mark Paye netted his goal in the 14th minute.
But Fassel through skillful forward Trance Tisdell kept left-back James Kpote busy down the right flank and created lots of chances, which did not get the needed result in the 40th minute when he excellently drove through the right side of BYC's defense to find teammate James Walatee who got the deserving equalizer for the Soccer Missionaries.
Later after 52 minutes of play, defensive midfielder Gideon Williams put BYC back in the lead after first goal scorer Paye provided the assist for the midfielder to register his name on the score sheet.
A minute after the goal, the Soccer Missionaries (FC Fassel) were reduced to ten men after forward Tisdell was sent off for elbowing midfielder Williams, but the red card did not slow down Coach Sam Chebli's boys as they kept mounting pressure with substitute Abraham Barshell's strike hitting the crossbar.
Coach Chebli's boys got the equalizer in the added minutes of the second half after substitute Elijah Clarke got the long awaited equalizer to send the match to post-match penalties, where BYC were defeated 4-2. Defender Prince Kennedy and goalkeeper Allenton Sembeh missed from the spot.
The Go Blue Boys, having been booted out of another competition and currently in the fourth position on the league table, have shown that their only hope is the championship.
Coach Sannah's side now have Nimba United and FC Fassel, who defeated them twice, and top spots hunters Keitrace, Watanga, Mighty Barrolle, ELWA United, Jubilee and LPRC Oilers as their remaining opponents.
With these remaining fixtures for Coach Cooper Sannah and his boys, and seven points behind the league leaders, what is next for BYC?