Liberia U20 players wave to the fans after their 3-0 win against Guinea at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium. (Photo: Anthony Kokoi)
It was an amazing weekend of football for Liberians on Sunday, January 19, after the U20 women's national team secured a 3-0 victory their Guinean counterparts at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in the ongoing FIFA U20 Women's World Cup qualifiers.
Blanco FC forward, Agatha Nimene scored a hat-trick to give Liberia an advantage ahead of the return leg in Conakry, Guinea.
The match, which was marked by an impressive turnout from football fans, saw Liberia taking the lead in the 18th minute through a free-kick that was superbly swung in by Agatha to get the spectators out of their seats.
Also in attendance was Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Ingrid Wetterqvist, who has become a strong supporter of women's football in Liberia
Minutes after Liberia took the lead; the Guineans later took charge of the game, dominating Liberia from the middle of the part, but found it difficult beat goalkeeper Jackie Touah.
However, Liberia utilized their attacks, with Agatha and Pauline Agbostou stacking from both ends. The second curtain raiser finally came after Agatha perfectly converted a spot-kick that resulted from a handball in Guinea's penalty box.
Star player of the game, Agatha Nimene celebrates after completing her hat-trick (Photo: Anthony Kokoi)
Despite the goals deficit, the visitors kept their composure but were unable to get a goal consolation.
Coach Robert Lartey's girls finally closed things up by scoring from the spot for the second time, recording a hat-trick. The spot-kick was as a result of another handball committed in Guinea's 18-yard box.
Liberia will travel to Guinea for the return-leg that is expected to take place between January 31, to February 2, 2020.
Following the climax of the game, Liberia Football Association president Mustapha Raji took to social media and congratulated the girls, and called on Liberians to support the various women's national teams.
"The growth within the women teams is on the rise and together, we can conquer. Let us support or girls National soccer teams. Congratulations, ladies! I am super proud of you all," he tweeted.
The growth within the women teams is on the rise and together, we can conquer. Let us support or girls National soccer teams. Congratulations, ladies! I am super proud of you all. #Football #Liberia #LFA pic.twitter.com/m0u5vU7hFz
President Raji greets players prior to the official kick-off of the game
Earth Angels' defensive midfielder Francisca Howe, who held the armband of the team, posted on her official Facebook page, thanking the fans for the huge turnout and urged to continue supporting women's football.
"Good game, great results, bigger tasks ahead. Thanks to everyone who turned out yesterday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium to cheer us to victory. The turnout was impressive and we can't thank you enough for your support. Let's continue to support women's football," she wrote.
If Liberia crosses this stage, they will face Cameroon in the First Round.