MONROVIA, Montserrado – The 18th round of matches in the ongoing Liberia Football Association’s first division will take place this weekend with some exciting matches across Monsterrado as teams will be hoping to keep alive their hopes of the championship, while some others will aim for a win to continue their fight from the relegation zone.
Of the six matches that will be played over the weekend, there’s no doubt the Antoinette Tubman Stadium will be the center of attraction on Sunday, June 25 when second-placed LISCR FC will go against the third-placed Monrovia Club Breweries in game one.
Two of Liberia’s founding clubs, Mighty Barrolle and the Invincible Eleven, will also draw some attention when they match up against each other.
In the past, thousands of fans would show up at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium to watch the two traditional clubs battle each other for the championship. But that will be the opposite on Sunday when the Kanyan Pepper Boys lock horns with the Sunshine Yellow Boys.
Instead of battling for the championship, the traditional rivals will be in a battle to escape relegation. Both teams will be on the pitch seeking the maximum points to stand a chance of leaving the bottom three.
Invincible Eleven was once invincible at the top of the league table, but the 13-time league champions can now be found at the bottom of the first division league. From 17 games played, IE has managed just two wins and a draw as they sit 12th on a 12-team log with 7 points.
After suffering from nine straight defeats in the first phase, they earned their first point in the ninth match after playing to a 1-1 draw against the LPRC Oilers. They later grabbed a 4-0 win over ELWA United on the final day of the first half of the season.
Like the start of the first phase, IE began the second phase with two defeats and managed a win against ELWA to record their second win of the season. The win against ELWA United had given their fans hope of making a comeback in the second phase.
However, their hopes were dashed, as they watched their team suffer further defeats. With five games to end the league season, IE sits bottom of the table and will need to win their remaining matches while hoping teams above them drop points to stand a chance of remaining in the top flight of Liberian football.
Their hunt for the maximum 15 points starts on Sunday against rivals Mighty Barrolle that is also in the fight against relegation. Unlike IE that has managed two wins, Mighty Barrolle has had some better results that have given them a slim chance of remaining in the First Division.
The Rollers have so far managed four wins and two draws from 17 games. They are seated tenth on the league table with 14 points, two less than LPRC Oilers that is seated ninth with 16 points, and two points over 11th place ELWA United.
With Mighty Barrolle winning the first leg 2-1, IE will be out for a revenge on Sunday to increase their tally to ten points, while a win for Barrolle will earn them 17 points.
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley