MONROVIA, Montserrado – The first phase of the 2019 Liberia Orange first division has come to an end with the 2016-17 undefeated league champions, LISCR FC, putting an end to the defending champions’ unbeaten league run.
The Shipping Boys pulled out a hard-fought 2-1 win away at the Blue Field to condemn Barrack Young Controllers to their first defeat of the league season. Barrack Young Controllers went into the match second on the table with 22 points from 10 games while the Shipping Boys were seated third with 21 points from 10 games.
With the two teams dominating local football for over nine years, the tempo of the game was high as the two sides were fighting to end the first phase in style. However, it was LISCR FC that concluded in style with a 2-1 win. The first LISCR FC goals for Markey Morgan and Benjamin Doe were enough to win the despite BYC’s lone goal through Abdulai Bility.
The first 45 minutes concluded with Barrack Young Controllers in the driving seat as they went to the break up by one. Bility scored in the last minute of the regular 45 minutes to give Barrack Young Controllers the lead, but LISCR FC returned stronger to overturn the score.
Benjamin Doe leveled the score in the 62nd minute with a shot from outside the penalty area before a substitute put LISCR FC ahead in the 86th minute. The home side failed to score again as they bowed to a 2-1 defeat at home, dropping third on the table while LISCR FC moved up to the second spot with 24 points from 11 games.
The Shipping Boys are three points behind league leaders, LPRC Oilers, who defeated Watanga Football Club on the final day to keep their place at the top of the table. Thiery Sackor scored the only goal to help the Oil Boys secure their league at the top of the table with 27 points from 11 games.
The Oilers ended the first phase not only at the top of the table but as the best defensive team. They conceded only twice in 11 games – the best defensive record in the league.
Meanwhile, the NPA Anchors bounced back from their shocking defeat last week to FC Fassell to get a 4-1 win against Nimba FC. The three points won against Nimba FC took the Port Boys to the ninth spot on the table with 11 points while Nimba FC finished eighth with 14 points.
Elsewhere, title contender Nimba United missed the opportunity of moving up to third on the table after they were held at home by Small Town Football Club. The Mountaineers were held to a 1-1 draw by the Logan Town-based club that finished seventh on the table with 14 points. Nimba United remains at fourth place with 20 points.
Giant Killers Keitrace FC finished 11th on the table with 8 points after their 2-2 draw with Monrovia Club Breweries on the last day of the first phase. Keitrace has been struggling to regain their form, and they have managed just two wins from 11 games. Meanwhile, Monrovia Club Breweries maintained their mid-table finish with 15 points – at sixth place.
After winning their only win of the season against NPA Anchors last week, FC Fassell suffered their 10th defeat in the league with a 5-1 thrashing from Jubilee FC. The Church Boys recorded their biggest win in the league so far, but it wasn’t enough to save them from ending the first half of the league in the relegation zone. Jubilee had four points deducted by the Liberia Football Association for fielding an illegal player against Monrovia Club Breweries and Small Town FC.
That deduction means that Jubilee has dropped from the 8th position with 12 points to 10th place on the table with eight points.
Featured photo by T. Kla Wesley Jr.