Tapha Manneh guides LISCR to Champions League glory

BY: The Bush Chicken

Gambian coach Mustapha Manneh guided Liberian champions LISCR FC to their first CAF Champions League win at home after they edged Sudanese giants Al-Hilal Omdurman 1-0 in the first leg of the preliminary rounds.

The game, played at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in central Monrovia, was graced by President George Weah, a former World Best Player, who ordered that entrance to the stadium be free of charge.

The match began with fireworks from both sides, with both teams showing their intent to score. However, none was able to create a clear chance until the 18th minute when LISCR FC’s Gambian attacker, Bully Drammeh, was fouled at the edge of the penalty box.

Center referee Firmino Bassafim awarded LISCR FC their first set piece of the game. From the tight left corner of the box, Mark Paye and Sheku Sheriff stood over the ball as the fans began to chant, “We want goal.”

Sheriff stepped up and took the set piece, which he converted to a goal. The former Gardnersville star player curved the ball in the upper left corner of Al-Hilal’s goal to beat Cameroonian goalkeeper Loik Maxime.

Sheriff got the goal in the 20th minute to score LISCR’s first ever CAF Champions League goal on home soil.

The victory against one of Africa’s giant didn’t surprise LISCR’s Gambian head coach, Manneh, who said he was pleased with the result.

“We want to be champions. If you want to be a champion, you have to beat a champion and that’s what we did today,” Manneh said in a post-match press conference. “The most important thing is that we got the three points. That was the score today and we are satisfied with the result.”

LISCR FC, who haven’t played any international match since 2013, can only proceed to the second round of the qualifier if they beat Al-Hilal or avoid defeat in Khartoum next week.