The 2021/22 National County Meet of Liberia has reached its last four after the quarterfinals matches in the football and kickball categories at the Samuel Kayon Doe Stadium back on Saturday 8, and Sunday 9 January, 2022.
Group A winners Grand Bassa grabbed a dramatic late minute 1-0 win over Grand Gedeh in the second half of extra time following a full-time goalless draw in the opening quarterfinals match at the SKD on Saturday afternoon.
Captain Augustine Dayougar was the game changer for the Gbehzohn boys courtesy of a clinical finished following a huge mistake from the defenders of Grand Gedeh County.
In the second match on Saturday, Margibi overpowered 10-man Maryland 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in the full-time and extra time, respectively.
The Marylanders became the forerunners of the match with a 26th minute opener from Thomas Doe, but the Gibi boys responded well with an equalizer from Moses Korbah in the 54th minute.
Margibi advanced to the semifinal by beating 1956 winners Maryland with a final score of six goals to five.
Earlier on Saturday in the kickball, the girls of Grand Gedeh voted down defending champions Grand Bassa in the penalties (highest advanced).
Meanwhile, Maryland County defeated Margibi County by a home run to zero in second kickball game of the day to booked a place at the semifinals.
On Sunday, 9 January, the Wologisi Lions of Lofa thrashed Nimba 2-0 home runs in the Kickball game, whilst River Cess progressed to the semifinal with a remarkable 3-0 home runs win over Bomi County.
The game between Nimba and Lofa saw the rebirth of the rivalry between two of the most successful kickball coaches in the history of the tournament Ezekiel Dokpa Alphonso Toe going face-to-face.
Both Coaches clashed in last year’s kickball final respectively with Nimba and Grand Bassa Counties.
It was Alphonso Toe’s Grand Bassa County Nimba that clinched the trophy after beating Nimba in the penalty shoots (highest advanced as called in the kickball).
But yesterday, Coach Dokpa who has been the longest serving Coach of Nimba stood on the touch with Lofa County as Grand Bassa ‘s all-time County Meet winning kickball Coach Alphonso Toe was in charged of Nimba’s Kickball team as Head Coach.
It was a revenge win for the former Nimba County’s Coach against his County Meet arch-rival, Toe.
However, Nimba changed that result in the football category with a well-deserved whopping 4-1 win over Grand Cape Mount to find a place at the semifinal of the competition for the second time in the last three editions.
Mohammed Keita opened the score after 4 minutes of play to put the Conquerors ahead before Marlue Johnson increased the score moments after with a rebound resulting from a poor goalkeeping by Cape Mount’s goal guardian Solomon Togba.
Cape Mount got a first-half consolation with an Abraham Kiazolu’s spot Kick reducing the deficit to 2-1 before the break.
Mouctarr Fofana’s boys came from the break with more aggression and it definitely paid off with Mark Arthur and second-half’s sub Cyrus Moore registering their respective names on the score sheet to make it 4-1 for the 2019/20 finalists.
Gbarpolu axed River Cess with a hard-fought and dramatic 2-1 victory in the last quarterfinals duel on Sunday night.
After a goalless draw in the first period, it was Gbarpolu who got the lead through a brilliant strike from Patrick Kamara 9 minutes after recess, but Matthew Logan leveled things up from the spot for River Cess in the 82nd minute sending the match into an extra time.
Sekou Kamara came from the bench to put the match to bed with a stunning header with just 6 minutes left before an anticipated post-match penalties giving Gbarpolu a dramatic 2-1 win over River Cess.
The semifinal fixtures will take place on Wednesday January the 12th at the SKD Stadium with the girls of Grand Gedeh going up against Lofa at 11:00 AM, whilst Maryland face River Cess at 12:00 PM in the kickball segment.
Then in football, Grand Bassa will meet Nimba in a momentous encounter at 3:00 PM. The semifinal will be climaxed with a blockbusting clash set between 2012 champions Margibi and 2004 carriers Gbarpolu County at 5:00 PM.
Winners from the both semifinal fixtures will meet in the grand final of the tournament on Sunday 16 January at 1700hrs GMT, with the two losers clashing in the third place play-off at 2pm comes Sunday in football.
At the same time, winners from the Grand Gedeh Vs Lofa and Maryland Vs River Cess games will go head-to-head in the final at 12 pm on Sunday with the losing sides wrestling for the bronze at 11 am.