Liberia 0-3 Senegal: Lone Star Crushed by Teranga Lions in 2023 CHAN Qualifiers 1st Leg


The Teranga Lions of Senegal took a huge step forward towards the next round of the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers following a massive 3-0 victory against Liberia in the first qualifying round on Sunday, 24th July.

Senegal were a better side off hosts Liberia who were already left trailing by 3-0 just after the first half-hour of the contest.

23-year-old Bouly Sambou raffled in the opening goal of the evening to set the Senegalese at the helm after 13 minutes in the first period at the SKD Stadium in Paynesville, Liberia.

Host Liberia exerted efforts to erase Senegal’s early lead, but all efforts applied against the resilient Senegalese side became futile.

Senegal quickly strengthened their lead on the half-hour mark, thanks to an easy finished from Raymond Dièmé Ndour.

The Lone Star’s nightmare became worse when Jean Louis Diouf of Senegalese premier league side ASC Jaraaf sent in a freeheader in the near post to give Senegal an even more comfortable lead of the evening.

Following the disappointing first-half result, the Lone Star tried to be a little more frantic in their attacks in the final period, but the Senegalese had already erected a solidified wall to prevent though difficult, but a possible Lone Star’s comeback.

Coach Keita’s men were squarely floppy in their attacking runs against Senegal leaving the visitors obviously unhindered in most part of the final half.

The result on Sunday now leaves Liberia with a mountain to climb in the return leg away to Senegal on Saturday, 30th July.

It already seems to be a mission impossible for caretaker Coach, Ansu Keita considering the impressive performances from the Senegalese on Sunday and the fact that Liberia have had a poor record away from home especially their last time out against the Teranga Lions in 2019.

Senegal came from a 1-0 first leg defeat to beat Liberia 3-0 in the final leg of the 2020 CHAN qualifiers.

They had earlier been defeated 1-0 by Liberia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia before overturning that result.

Senegal will be hoping to defend their comfortable first leg’s triumph against Liberia comes Saturday as they look to progress to the next round of the qualifiers in aspiration of booking a slot at the 2023 CHAN competition.

The finals tournament which will be hosted by Algeria early next year is expected to bring together sixteen nations from across the continent.

The outcome of today’s game also marks a discouraging start for Ansu Keita who is serving as a stand-in Coach and the prospective Head Coach proper of the Lone Star.

Keita is the current head coach the U-15 and U-17 national teams of Liberia.

He has been doing a remarkable work with the youth teams especially during the recent tour in Austria last month where he won three out of four friendlies.

There was a huge expectations from a large quarter of Liberians ahead of today’s encounter owing to Keita’s impressive work with the young Lone Star over the time, but a lot of people were left with doubts as to whether he can make a better coach for the nation’s pride when formally appointed as the lead coach.

In fact, Keita and his men were heavily booed by home fans during the match for their unimpressive display.

Today’s match was the first international game on home soil for Liberia in nearly three years following a ban placed on the SKD Stadium by world and Africa football ruling bodies, FIFA and CAF due to its failure to meet the required standards for international stadia.

However, after series of reconditionings at the facility, CAF and FIFA granted Liberia permission to host Senegal at the stadium on Sunday.

*Feature photo by: T Kla Wesley, Jr (sports photojournist)


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