MONROVIA, Montserrado â€“ The Liberia Football Association has confirmed a friendly match with African football giant Ivory Coast in March. According to the Liberia Football Association, the match will be played at the HouphouÃ«t-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Tuesday, March 26, two days after Liberiaâ€™s crucial 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying game away at D.R. Congo.
The confirmation of Liberiaâ€™s friendly match against the Ivory Coast comes just days after the Lone Starâ€™s planned training camp in Morocco was canceled. Announcing the cancelation of the training camp, Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson told reporters that the ministry was working with the Liberia Football Association to have the team playing a few international friendlies.
The head coach of the Liberian national team, Thomas Kojo, may have felt disappointed after the canceled Morocco trip, but the tactician is excited after the confirmation of the high-profile friendly game. However, he said he wished the game was scheduled before the crucial game against D.R. Congo.
â€œI think it is a very good friendly international game. I believe that it would have been much better if it was before our game against D.R. Congo,â€ he said. â€œNotwithstanding, Ivory Coast is one of the big football nations in Africa. Agreeing to play Liberia in a friendly game speaks volume that our national team is doing well. Most of the big countries donâ€™t play friendly games because they want to play. I think they have followed our qualifying games and have seen how well weâ€™ve been doing. Therefore, it is going to be a good game for our players to have that opportunity to play a very good friendly international against Ivory Coast.â€
The friendly match on March 26 will be the 16th meeting between the two countries. The Elephants, as Ivory Coast national team is nicknamed, have won 13 out of the 15 games played while settling for a draw twice. The recent meeting between the two teams was the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification where the Ivorians grabbed back-to-back wins. They managed a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg on November 15, 2015, before grabbing a 3-0 win in Abidjan on November 17 in the return leg.