Liberia Faces An Uphill Task Against Kenya

The Lone Star of Liberia will take on the Harambee Stars of Kenya in an international friendly on November 15 at the Kasarani Stadium.

The match will be Liberia’s first since its failure to reach the 2017 African Cup of Nations after a 4-1 thrashing away at Tunisia that dropped them third in Group A with 10 points.

Already, Liberia’s Coach James Debbah has dropped several key players from his team for the encounter. Those players may be a strategic missing piece to a win that could improve Liberia’s FIFA ranking for the month of November. Liberia currently sits at the 104th place, 19 places behind Kenya at 85th.

Debbah is expected to line up several a mixture of local players and some new overseas players that are expecting to make their debut.

Unlike Liberia, which is using the friendly encounter to test the strength of new players, Kenya plans to play at full strength, as they look to grab their third consecutive win.

The Harambee Stars coach, Stanley Okumbi, has brought in Tottenham Hotspur’s midfielder Victor Wanyama from the English Premier League; the highest scorer on the top Swedish club Djurgardens IF, Michael Olunga; and Jesse Were from the Zambian CAF Champions League semi-finalists Zesco United.

Kenya has already won two matches in succession and will desperately be in search of victory against the Lone Star to continue their winning spree.

The Harambee Stars grabbed a narrow 1-0 win away at DRC Congo on October 20, before snatching another narrow 1-0 win over Mozambique on Nov 12, three days before meeting Liberia.

Debbah will have to work on his relatively inexperienced defense to stop Kenya attacking pair Olunga and Were, who have produced significant results for their respective clubs this year.

While Debbah may struggle with having an experienced defense, he may rely on his attacking force to do the damage to Kenya. CAF Champions League winner Anthony Snoti Laffor, Wydad Athletic hot striker, William Jebor, and former Manchester City player Alex Nimely will face a Kenya defense that comprises of several experienced foreign-based players.

The match will be the third meeting between both countries. The two sides last played on August 12, 1989 in the Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Having played to a goalless draw in Monrovia on January 22, 1989, Kenya defeated Liberia 1-0 in Nairobi

Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.

T Kla Wesley Jr.

T. Kla Wesley Jr. is a member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia.

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