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Saturday, October 23, 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Liberia showed Nigeria too much respect – Garkpah

The Liberian Football official feels the Lone Star made it too easy for the Super Eagles to secure victory at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Friday

Liberia Football Association communication manager Gologo Ben Garkpah feels the Lone Star showed Nigeria too much respect as they suffered a 2-0 loss at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s first-half brace pegged down Peter Butler’s men as the three-time African champions began their 2022 World Cup qualification campaign on a winning note.

The West Africans – who had Hatayspor’s Mohammed Kamara on the bench from start to finish – put up a fine showing, albeit, they lacked the cutting edge in the final third.

Reflecting on the result, the LFA official provided an assessment of why Butler’s team were unable to scale the hurdle postured by Gernot Rohr’s men.

“I think we started slowly. We showed too much respect to the Super Eagles as we didn’t create many scoring opportunities,” Garkpah told Goal.

“We didn’t trouble [Maduka] Okoye much; he looked to be on holiday for most of the game probably because the formation did not allow us to push higher up the pitch and mount pressure on their back four.

“Also, we did not defend particularly well on those two dead-ball situations. Goalkeeper Ashley [Williams] should have easily dealt with Kelechi [Iheanacho’s] drive from 20 yards out and Oscar [Dorley] height and weight didn’t favour him in that one-on-one challenge with Iheanacho.

“I feel there looks to be a little bit of shoving but don’t want to make a lot of excuses about it. We just defended poorly. So, of the entire game, those two set-pieces were the difference.”

Liberia FA Chief

“The Liberia Football Association is not happy about the defeat because our boys gave it a good fight especially in the second half,” he continued.

“We force the Super Eagles to be on the back foot. We brought on some options upfront and changed the formation which helped us to have a little more of the ball than we did in the first period.

“We came here with lots of very young lads and that’s not the qualities you want to compete with against the Super Eagles.

“Two defensive frailties on dead ball situation cost us to be licking our wounds after 90 minutes. However, we are proud of the team. The future belongs to them.”


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