On Saturday, 30th July, 2016, Liverpool Football Club Sierra Leone (LFC Salone) completed their inaugural match with a 2-2 tie with Soccer Saturday of Lumley, at the M.A.F.A .field Lumley. A first half goal from Austin Small and second half goal from LFC Salone Captain, Chernor Maju Bah, were cancelled by second half goals from former Leone Stars International, Kemokai Kallon and Ibrahim Koroma respectively.
LFC Salone started the game well with neat passes and clever combinations which lead to an early goal as Austin Small pounced on a loose ball in the Soccer Saturday penalty area that sent LFC Salone into an early lead. LFC Salone then switched to a defensive mode which allowed Bele Bele and Jordan of Soccer Saturday to pressure them. This also lead to very few opportunities for Armani who was tirelessly leading the line upfront for LFC Salone, ably supported by Ibrahim Sorie. However the pressure from Soccer Saturday was mostly shots from far off as the LFC Salone defense was ably marshalled by Jr. Murray who had an outstanding game. The two teams went into the break with LFC Salone leading 1-0.
Soccer Saturday made wholesale changes to start the second half which included the introduction of Kemokai Kallon. Soccer Saturday increased the pressure on the LFC Salone goal, with the latter content to absorb the pressure and hit on the break. The containment was successful for quite a while as Austin Small, Dalmat and Paco thwarted the avalanche of Soccer Saturday’s attacks with very determined pressing on the wings. There was no way through the middle for them as Maju and Murray intercepted most of the balls coming through the middle. Soccer Saturday were restricted to long shots, however the admirable defense was broken by one such long shot by Sierra Leone legend Kemokai Kallon who let off one of his signature right footed bullets, a good 35 meters away from the goal that LFC Salone keeper, Gix, was unable to reach.
At one all, LFC Salone Coach, Cox, changed the script and made some key changes in personnel and tactics. This paid off as in less than five minutes after a quick combination in midfield between Dalmat, Kakay and Maju, Maju drove in a shot that put LFC Salone in the lead again. The introduction of Kakay for LFC Salone was positive and Kakay found himself in two key counter attacks but twice failed to make use of the opportunity.
Unfortunately, Dalmat and Paco, who were instrumental in defensive midfield positions, developed consistent cramps and their effect was telling as Soccer Saturday’s attacks were coming in droves as well as unbelievable referring decisions. Later it would be revealed that the referee was a Manchester United fan and had a Manchester jersey under his ref’s kit. It might as well have been Howard Web with the whistle during the second half. With the attacks coming in, thick and fast, Ibrahim Koroma found himself with space in the 18 and neatly slotted an equalizer past Gix.
With Dalmat and Paco, removed from the game, Basqui and Ozone were introduced in the latter stages, as the referee added a significant amount of injury time for Soccer Saturday to impress. LFC Salone held on nonetheless and the home crowd was visibly disappointed as LFC Salone put on a spirited performance.
LFC Salone: Gix, Paco, Austin Small, Jr. Murray, Dalmat, Maju (Capt), Ibrahim Sorie, Armani, Kakay, Basqui, Ozone