14 June 2017

Zimbabwe/Liberia: Why Lone Star Lost to Zimbabwe?

The humiliation that the national soccer team suffered at the hands of the Zimbabwean national soccer team, Warriors, on Sunday was received with recriminations as many Liberians are asking why it happened.

And of course, those who asked the question were right to some extent to demand to know why the country that produced one of the best soccer players in the world, only a few years ago, is unable to hold itself against unsung countries in competitive encounters, even when the opportunity is there to see.

But I think one question that should be asked is: Why should Lone Star win? The answer to this question should explain the reason Lone Star should defeat the Warriors.

Consider these further questions: Has the national league produced quality footballers that Liberia can depend on in international encounters? Since most of the players were local materials, meaning they are players from the national league, does it mean that the 3-0 defeat indicates that our local coaches are not living up to their qualifications as CAF License A and B coaches?

Are the coaches in failing to apply what they learnt during their professional training as coaches that they earned the CAF License A and B Certificates? Enough with the questions, right?

On the field of play, a report by LBS's Kolubah Zayzay, who was with the players, indicates that the members of the national team were unable to exert their authority on the pitch and along with faulty passes the players up front were unable to threaten their opponents' defense, except at least on one occasion.

Another question: How prepared was the national team against Zimbabwe? Please recall that when the CAF's and FIFA's windows that allowed national teams to play friendly matches came, several months before last Sunday's game in Harare, Liberia did not take advantage of it.

It was only some days to the game that a local team was selected to play a friendly against Sierra Leone in Monrovia. In that match careful observers should have recognized that Lone Star managed a 1-0 victory, the goal coming in the 79th minute. And so playing before a home crowd, and at their favorite field, Lone Star players could not take over the game.

Now with little preparation, since it is not possible for the national team players to be in Liberia all at once at least three weeks before any encounter, many who are crying why Lone Star lost should have realized that anything in life for which you fail to plan, it goes without saying that it is a recipe for disaster or failure.

Liberia's next match is against DR Congo in Monrovia, next March, and I bet you that no preparation will be done until two weeks before the match. When that happens, what would you expect? Answer that question for yourself.

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