MONROVIA, Montserrado – Liberia’s national football team faces an uphill task against Djibouti in a home and away clash this month in its battle to grab a place in the 2017 African Nations Cup finals.
A win home and away will boost the chances of the Lonestar, currently seated at second place in Group A with 3 points from two games.
The Lonestar lost their opening match 2-1 away at Togo before collecting a hard-fought three points at home, following a narrow 1-0 win over North African giant, Tunisia.
With less than two weeks before the Lonestar travels, the technical staff of Coach James Salinsa Debbah has invited 19 foreign-based players and six local ones for the ensuing battle.
According to a release from the Liberia Football Association, ten of the invited players play in Europe, six play in Asia, three play on the African continent, and one plays in the United States.
Despite William Jebor’s failure to register a single league goal this season for SD Ponferradina, he remains a prominent member of the Lonestar. His hat-trick away at Equatorial Guinea back in October 2015 helped Liberia advance to second round of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers before being knocked out after a back-to-back defeat to Cote d’Ivoire.
Striker Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh of the Malaysian Super League team Selangor was also part of coach Debbah’s squad. The 6-feet-tall striker has been in top form since joining Selangor. He introduced himself as a clinical goal scorer in Selangor’s preseason matches by scoring three times in four games.
His performance has helped Selangor claim the top spot of the league table, with his five goals from four league matches making him the league’s leading goal scorer. Although his last appearance for the national team against Cote d’Ivoire was disappointing due to a minor injury, his inclusion in the squad may suggest Debbah’s faith in his abilities to deliver for Lonestar.
Also invited, is the Serbia-based defender, Omega Roberts, who plays for Serbia’s second tier club Donji Srem. He last played for the Lonestar in 2013 when Liberia suffered a 2-0 lost at home to Senegal.
Meanwhile, the hard working Patrick Gedhardt, who plays both as a central defender and as a defensive midfielder, has been excluded from the squad.
Liberia travels to Djibouti on Thursday, March 24 while the return leg is five days, later on, Tuesday, March 29 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia.
Below the full list of players invited:
- Tommy Songo (LISCR, Liberia)
- Samson Giddings (FC Fassell, Liberia)
- James Gally (Watanga FC, Liberia)
- Solomon Grimes (Nea Salamis Famagusta, Cyprus)
- Trokon Zeon (LPRC Oilers, Liberia)
- Gizzie Dorbor (Hapoel Afula, Israel)
- Hilton Varney (Barrack Young Controllers, Liberia)
- Teah Dennis (Al-Ahli, Jordan)
- Dirkir Glay ( Persiba Balikpapan, Indonesia)
- Omega Roberts (FK Donji Srem Pecinci, Serbia)
- Alvin Macconough (Barrack Young Controllers, Liberia)
- Alsény Keita (Jeanne d’Arc de Drancy, France)
- Dulee Johnson (Molde FK, Norway)
- Anthony Laffor (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa)
- Theo Weeks (Ermis Aradippou, Cyprus)
- Dioh Williams (Gefle IF, Sweden)
- Zah Kranga (FELDA United, Malaysia)
- Tonia Tisdell (Karsiyaka / Karabükspor, Turkey)
- Kpah Sherman (Santos FC Cape Town, South Africa)
- Melvin George (Hantharwady United FC, Myanmar)
- Marcus Macauley (Al Ahli, Jordan)
- William Jebor (SD Ponferradina, Spain)
- Sam Johnson (Djurgårdens, Sweden)
- Patrick Wleh (Selangor FA, Malaysia)
- Seku Conneh (Bethlehem Steel FC, USA)
Featured photo by Augustus Audekina-Doe