MONROVIA, Montserrado – Montserrado-based Pags FC, which was recently promoted to the Second Division League, emerged as champions of the Third Division League after beating Margibi’s Bristol City Football Club 4-1 in the playoffs final played at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on Sunday, December 3.
In a match that saw Bristol City receiving two red cards, Pags dominated their counterparts in the latter part of the match.
Pags opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Mark Karley, but Bristol got the score leveled eight minutes later. The match remained competitive until Bristol was reduced to a 10-man team after George Corporal was given a straight red card in the 43rd minute for a reckless challenge on Moses Quaye.
Down to 10 men, Bristol managed to keep the score equal for the remaining two minutes in the first half, and the teams went to the break with a goal each.
After the break, Pags FC returned with full strength, taking advantage of Bristol’s handicap. The Logan Town Boys took the lead for the second time in the match with just five minutes into the second half through Ahmed Foulten. The goal appeared to have discouraged Bristol from playing a defensive game, as they attacked their opponent’s goal in their search for their second equalizer.
However, it didn’t work out for the Firestone Boys as they received more goals than they were able to score. Ansu Manneh gave Pags a two-goal lead in the 66th minute and made the score 4-1 eight minutes later by scoring his second of the match.
With less than 20 minutes to end the match, Bristol had no hope of leveling the score to push the game to extra time, and Pags showed no mercy in continuing their attacking style of play. Matters got worse for Bristol in the 82nd minute as they were reduced to nine players on the pitch.
A frustrated Harris Sumo was given a straight red card for another reckless challenge. With eight minutes to full time, fans expected Pags to pummel Bristol with even more goals, but there was no more scoring until the sound of the final whistle.
Despite the defeat, Bristol joined Pags to qualify for the Second Division League as the match was only played for the Third Division championship.
Both teams booked their place in the second tier of Liberian football after getting wins in the playoffs semifinals. Pags booked their place in the Second Division after a 4-1 over Young Vision while Bristol reached the second division after a narrow 1-0 win over Freeport FC.
While Pags FC may have just qualified for the Second Division, where they will go against the likes of BYC II, Gardnersville FC, Mighty Barrolle, and Invincible Eleven, their head coach Samuel K. Momo is already dreaming about causing an upset in the Second Division.
Speaking to the press after the match, Momo said his team is coming to the Second Division not just to be a participant, but to also compete for titles.
“I’m proud of my team today,” Momo said. “We are coming to the Second Division with big dreams. We might be overlooked in the Second Division, but we will be a force to reckon with. We have the Second Division title to fight for and the FA Cup title to compete for. We aren’t coming to just participate but as real contenders.”
Featured photo courtesy of T. Kla Wesley Jr.