Sandi Football Club, a 2nd Division side based in Margibi County have been promoted to the Orange 1st Division after beating Muscat FC 3-0 on aggregate in the promotion playoff of Orange 2nd Division league at the SKD Practice Pitch in Paynesville on Friday, 18 June.
Sandi edged Muscat with a 2-0 in the first leg of the playoff at the Nancy Doe Stadium back on Tuesday.
The Paynesvillians needed to overturn that result suffered from the first leg in Kakata with nothing less than a 3-0 win to ensure their advancement to the Liberian top football league.
Contrary to that expectation, the resilient boys of Muscat were disappointedly nailed 1-0 in the second leg by the 2nd Division debutants, Sandi in their own backyard on Friday evening.
The Gibi boys now become the second-ever Margibi-based club to ascend to the Liberian 1st Division.
The first side to do so was Mighty Blue Angels, but fell off to the 2nd Division league back in the 2012-13 league season.
Sandi are also the first ever Margibi based Second Division side to pull ahead to the Liberian top domestic league in the last 8 years since the relegation of Blue Angels from the top league.
They ended the recent campaign 3rd behind league winners Heaven Eleven and Second-placed Barrack Young Controllers (BYC-ll); their challengers Muscat finished 4th. Both sides accumulated 41 points apiece from 26 league games respectively.
Sandi who were elevated to the Orange National League 2nd Division in August of 2019 when they won champions of the national championship (3rd Division) over Nimba-based Ganta Almighty will now play in the level one league only after spending a year in the division two league, a record that is rare in the Liberian football leagues.
The playoff was the second consecutive attempt made by Muscat FC in the last two years to advance to the top-flight. They escorted Nimba Kwado to the Top-flight at the playoff in 2019.
The Paynesville-based club failed to make a comeback from another 2-0 first leg defeat away at Kwado in Sanniquellie as both sides played to a nil-nil equalizer at the ATS in the return leg.
Kwado sailed through to the big league at the expense of Muscat. The 2-0 first leg win was sufficient for the Ton Pea Mea.
After missing out on another qualification this season, Muscat will look to try next season.
Sandi have now completed the list of the three 2nd Division clubs that obtained promotion to the top division.
They joined Barrack Young Controllers (BYC) and newly crowned champions Heaven Eleven to the Top-flight for the upcoming season.
In the relegation play-offs fight, Ganta Almighty recorded a dramatic 4-0 second leg win over Keitrace FC at the ATS on Friday, 18 June.
The Green Warriors pinned Keitrace 1-nil in their first leg clash at home in Ganta on Tuesday evening.
Both sides tied at nil-nil draw after the first half, but Almighty outran Keitrace in the final half as Emmanuel Saywiah came from the bench in the 60th minutes to replace Abraham McGill.
Saywiah’s introduction was just a perfect chemistry by the technical team of visitors Ganta Almighty.
Magnificent Saywiah broke the deadlock for the Warriors 5 minutes after his introduction.
He doubled the lead for the Warriors in the 84th minute before Nathaniel Tokpah made it 3-0 in the 90th minute.
Saywiah completed his hat trick with a nicely served ball from Topkah in the last 16 seconds of the 2 minutes stoppage time.
Emmanuel Saywiah now becomes the first ever Ganta Almighty player to score a hat trick in the LFA national league as they won Keitrace FC 5-0 on aggregate.
Keitrace and Ganta Almighty have met a total five times and Almighty won 3 whilst Keitrace have won one time with both teams recording a singular draw in their last five meetings.
Keitrace’s defeat now confirmed their relegation from the Orange 2nd Division. They joined Stages and Fassell who were earlier demoted to the 3rd Division championship on the last-day of the season after finishing in the drop at the respective 13th and 14th-placed.