MONROVIA, Montserrado – Liberian international right-back Solomon Grimes has come out to warn members of the senior national team not to feel complacent ahead of their second preliminary round against the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire in the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The Lone Star had a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Guinea-Bissau before smashing a historic 3-1 victory away to advance to the second preliminary round where they will play the African champions, Côte d’Ivoire.
A win over Côte d’Ivoire will place Liberia into the group stage of the qualifying campaign.
“We had three important games in less than two months, and we came out with a strong fight to get the best results,” he said. “We won Tunisia before that disappointing 1-1 draw with Guinea-Bissau at home, but as a professional team, we put ourselves together quickly and went away with a mind of winning. With God on our side, we got it, and we won away after 14 years [without any away wins] and advanced to meet Côte d’Ivoire.”
He added that although they had gained the confidence of winning the game, it is “now the time for us to show to the world that we are ready for business.” He called the game crucial, and said the team has to play with everything they have.
“That’s the only way we could be successful,” Grimes told The Bush Chicken.
With the world class players that make up the Ivorian national team, Grimes has asserted that there will be a lot to do on the pitch if Lone Star must come out with a positive result.
“Everybody knows the class of players Côte d’Ivoire has. It’s no secret. Once you are playing a team that has the likes of Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Gradel, Bony – who all are playing in Europe’s top football leagues -certainly you know you have a lot of work to do,” he said.
However, he said that in the game of soccer, “if you work hard, you get the best result, if you don’t, you get the worst.”
“We have the confidence, and I think we will pull out surprises,” Grimes concluded.
Photo courtesy of Solomon Grimes