18 June 2019

Liberia: Two FA Cups in Three Years, LISCR FC Oust BYC As FA Champions

Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson presents the trophy to LISCR FC Captain Tommy Songo (L)

LISCR FC have dethroned Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) to be crowned LFA knockout champions of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) 2018/19 league season.

Two late second half goals from Christopher Jackson and Curtis Koon decided the FA Cup finals in LISCR's favor at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on Sunday, June 16, 2019.

The result left BYC, former title holders, ending their season empty-handed.

Christopher Jackson broke the deadlock in the 84th minute through a diving header from Sam Jackson's right-flank cross. Curtis Koon finally called it a day after slotting home the second goal in the three minutes of added time.

Tommy Songo (L) receives a symbolic check of L$650,000 on behalf of LISCR FC as FA Cup winners

BYC, under the guidance of caretaker coach Samuel Sumo did not perform to expectation as LISCR dominated the full 90 minutes, enjoying the best of opportunities.

Midway through the second half, BYC were reduced to 10 men after Daniel Woto, a former LISCR FC defender, was shown a straight red card for a reckless tickle on Koon.

Star players, Kertu Jerbo, Kelvin Potis and striker Trokon Myers could not pick up their rhythm as BYC kept struggling to make attempts on goal.

BYC were in search for the 6th FA Cup title having won it in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Former coach Robert Lartey led the 'Go Blue Boys' to this year's final after a 5-2 comeback against Keitrace FC in the semifinals, but was sacked by the club due to the team's position in the first division league and two home defeats against top rivals at home.

For LISCR, it was their fourth FA Cup and second under Gambian Coach Tapha Manneh. The knockout champions won the title for the first time in 2003 and retained it in 2004, before winning it for the third time during the 2016/2017 league season.

LISCR bagged home L$650,000 as winners, and will represent Liberia in the 2019 CAF Confederation Cup.

A Glorious Farewell to Coach Manneh?

Having won two FA Cups, four major titles in three years, is definitely an accomplishment worth celebrating for coach Tapha Manneh. LISCR FC's final game of the 2018/19 league season on Wednesday, June 19, against BYC may have well been Manneh's last game as head coach of LISCR FC.

Coach Tapha Manneh volleyed by his players after having led them to win their second FA Cup. (Photo: LISCR FC)

The Gambian international's contract with the club will expire at the end of June this year, and has shown no sign of being extended with the 'Shipping Boys.'

After his FA Cup Triumph on Sunday, Manneh confirmed to sports journalists that he will not extend his contract with the Club.

"I was signed to build a team for future competitions, which think I have done so I will be seeking another challenge next season," Manneh said.

Despite being contracted to build the team during the 2016/2017 league season, Manneh emerged as an unknown hero in the league after he won the championship unbeaten in 22 games, and later doubled his titles by winning the FA Cup.

Women's World Cup: USA Beats Chile 3-0

-Nigeria, South Africa, China early exit

The United States easily reached the last 16 of the Women's World Cup as they produced another commanding display to beat Chile in Paris, the BBC has reported.

Meanwhile, Nigeria, South Africa and China are the first three countries that have gone out of the tournament having failed to secure the required points.

According to the BBC, having opened their campaign with a ruthless, record-breaking 13-0 win over Thailand on Tuesday, June 11, the USA quickly got on top of Chile, and led early on through veteran Carli Lloyd's crisp finish.

Julie Ertz and Lloyd then both headed in from first-half corners, before Chile keeper Christiane Endler pulled off several stunning second-half saves to prevent the holders adding to their lead.

The world's number-one side, who rested seven players, also hit the woodwork three times before Lloyd dragged wide from the penalty spot, missing the chance to become the oldest player to score a World Cup hat-trick.

A draw with rivals Sweden in Le Havre on Thursday would be enough for this confident USA outfit to top the group on goal difference, following the Swedes' 5-1 win over Thailand earlier on Sunday, June 18.

Chile, who are playing in their first World Cup and remain winless in 2019, must now beat Thailand to have any hope of progressing to the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed sides.

Africa Cup of Nations: Mohamed Salah Helps Egypt Win Warm-up Match

Mohamed Salah came off the bench to help Egypt win their Nations Cup warm-up match against Guinea

Hosts Egypt warmed up for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-1 win over fellow qualifiers Guinea on Sunday, June 16, 2019, the BBC has said.

According to the BBC, Liverpool star Mohamed Salah came on as a second half substitute and set-up two of the Pharaohs goals.

Marwan Mohsen had given Egypt the lead in Alexandria with Sory Kaba equalizing midway through the second half.

Salah set up chances for Ahmed Ali and Omar Gaber, who both scored to ensure victory for the hosts.

It was the second warm-up victory for Egypt, who also beat Tanzania 1-0 On Wednesday, June 12 at the same stadium.

Egypt are in Group 'A' with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe for the tournament which runs from June 21 July 19, 2019.

In other friendly internationals, Herve Renard's Morocco suffered a second home defeat in a row as they fell 3-2 to his former team Zambia.

Ajax striker Hakim Ziyech equalized twice for the Atlas Lions, who are considered one of the biggest threats to title favorites Egypt, only for Enock Mwepu to snatch a 75th-minute winner for the Zambians.

Frenchman Renard is the only coach to win the Africa Cup of Nations with different countries.

He led outsiders Zambia to the title in 2012 and repeated the feat three years later (2015) with Ivory Coast.

Everton's Idrissa Gueye scored the first half goal that gave Senegal a 1-0 victory over Nigeria behind closed doors in Ismailia, one of the venues for the African showpiece.

Three-time champions Nigeria and former runners-up Senegal are among the fancied sides in this newly expanded Cup of Nations that will feature 24 teams.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe led at half-time through a Knox Mutizwa goal and Mbwana Samatta equalized for Tanzania in a 1-1 draw between the qualifiers in Cairo.

Andy Delort, a late call-up by Algeria after the axing of Haris Belkebla for baring his backside online, scored the winner in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Mali in Doha.

Mali were in front twice before Delort netted nine minutes from time for Algeria, whose only African title came 29 years ago.

The match was also played behind closed doors as coaches put the final touches to preparations for the tournament, which kicks off on Friday with the Group A opener between Egypt and Zimbabwe.

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