MONROVIA, Montserrado – The 2016-17 Liberia football season has finally come to end with the Shipping Boys, LISCR FC, proving to be the best Liberian club after winning the Liberian Football Association Cup, commonly known as FA Cup.
The Shipping Boys won the FA Cup after recording an easy 3-0 win over Paynesville-based ELWA United. With both teams failing to beat each other in the league, the final was expected to produce lots of fireworks.
Despite ELWA being one of worst teams in the just-ended first division league, the first match between the two teams ended goalless. In the second match, LISCR came from a goal down to force a 1-1 draw.
While pundits predicted that the game’s winner would be decided from the penalty spot, LISCR FC blew those expectations away with a one-sided final.
Just a less than a week after winning the first division title, the Shipping Boys began proceeding on a promising note as they dominated early.
The first division champions created some chances but failed to score in the opening ten minutes of the match. Towering striker Christopher Jackson came close to giving LISCR the lead twice but saw his headers just inches away from the goal post.
It wasn’t until the 23rd minute that the deadlock was broken. Former NPA midfielder Stephen Seameh scored from within ELWA’s six-yard box with a right foot shot to give the Gardnesville-based team a well-deserved lead.
With a goal down, ELWA needed to the score to level the game. They began to show some strength in the middle, led by former Bong star Arku Morris and former Mighty Barrolle defensive midfielder Janjay Harvey.
The Paynesville boys pulled out a strong fight after conceding their first goal, but they were unable to break through a LISCR team that was desperate to win two titles.
While ELWA was desperate for an equalizer, the one goal seemed to have brought some complacency to LISCR and their early domination ceased. ELWA’s players nearly earned a reward for their hard work in the 40th minute after coming close to getting the equalizer.
Arku Morris struck from a close range to beat LISCR’s goalkeeper, Tommy Songo, but saw his ball cleared off the line by Asiamuh Dann. A stubborn LISCR defense helped keep the score at 1-0 until the break.
Back from the break, LISCR head coach brought on wunderkind Edward Ledlum for Trokon Myers, who had a bit of tough time on the pitch. The introduction of Ledlum put some light in LISCR’s attack as they soon began to push for their second goal.
Less than 10 minutes after his introduction, the diminutive Ledlum proved his worth. He doubled the lead in the 54th minute with a very clever finish. The National County Sports Meet’s Most Valuable Player dribbled his way through ELWA’s defense and easily placed the ball in the right corner of the net.
LISCR now looked secure, but continued to push for more goals and possessed much of the possession.
The match was finally laid to rest in the 77th minute when LISCR added their third goal of the match.
Former Gardnesville Football Club midfielder Sheku Sheriff, commonly called “Ball Passer,” scored his sixth goal from a set piece to kill the hopes of ELWA. A 3-0 score line with over 25 minutes to play, the winner was already known by spectators as ELWA continued to decline in the match, instead of mounting pressure to a consolation.
The remaining minutes were all about fun for LISCR that was waiting for the sound of the final whistle to go wild in jubilation. ELWA failed to get at least a goal to put them in contention for the title in the last minutes of the match as LISCR cruised to an easy FA Cup victory without conceding a goal.
The result earned LISCR a double title, with the first division league title already captured. They will represent Liberia in the 2018 CAF Champions League as winner of the First Division League, while ELWA United will participate in the CAF Confederation Cup despite the defeat.
Featured photo courtesy of Anthony Kokoi