MONROVIA, Montserrado – Grand Bassa has emerged as the overall winner of the 2015-2016 National County Sports Meet, winning two championships and finishing third in another.
On Sunday, January 17, Bassa came from a goal down to beat Monsterrado 3-1 in a penalty shootout as the Gbehzon Boys clinched the football crown.
Monsterrado initially grabbed a lead in the 12th minute when Daniel Tuazama capitalized on a defensive error by Bassa and launched the ball toward the bottom left corner of the net.
Montserrado controlled much of the possession in the first half with several shots on goal, but the team found it difficult to double the lead and went to half-time leading only 1-0.
Back from the break, Bassa took control of the match and soon got the much-needed equalizer in the 56th minute when star player David Paye dribbled and made his way through two of Monsterrado’s defenders to strike within the 18-yard box.
The remaining minutes of the match was full of fireworks from both teams. However no team was able to score any additional goals before the sound of the final whistle, and the match went into extra time.
During extra time play, Montserrado appeared to have lost its rhythm. The team looked tired and posed no threat to the fast attacking boys from Bassa. However, despite Bassa’s dominance during the extra time play, there were no additional goals from either side.
In the 29th minute, both teams made their final substitutions by bringing in their second choice goalkeepers. Daniel Davies, who was Bassa’s penalty hero against Nimba in the quarterfinals, replaced the controversial Sekou Baryoh while Montserrado brought on Kofa Nimely for Andrew Domah as both teams prepared for the penalty shootouts.
Both goalkeepers proved the worth of their substitutions and saved their first shots. Davies proved to be more valuable as he went on to save another as Bassa won 3-1.
Meanwhile, Bong, in a protest over the controversial 1-0 loss to Grand Bassa in the football semifinals, failed to show up for the third place match with Lofa on Saturday, January 16. Lofa was automatically declared the winner of that game.
In basketball, Grand Bassa beat Grand Kru 57 to 44 points as they clinched the basketball championship while Bassa’s kickball team finished third in the kickball after whipping Monsterrado 4-0 in the third place match.
Bomi beat Monsterrado in straight three sets to retain their volleyball title.