Liberian soccer enthusiasts are gradually preparing themselves for tomorrow’s match between the Lone Star of Liberia, and the Elephants of La Cote d’Ivoire in a World Cup qualifier football match.
Already the visitors are here with the anticipation of whipping their Liberian counterparts on their own soil by all means.
For Liberians tomorrow’s game will be a ‘Do or Die’ vowing that the Elephants of La Cote’Ivoire will suffer in the hands of the Lone Star boys.
The City of Monrovia is hot as giant size speakers are blowing the famous traditional songs of their darling club, the Lone Star of Liberia with such songs like: “Clap for Lone Star, and others were being played throughout the city via giant size speakers.
Speaking to some Liberians who described tomorrows as ‘The Game of the Decade’, saying this game in 50 years both teams are meeting.
In their 11 previous encounters, the Elephants defeated Liberia eight times, with three draws. This is the Lone Star’s fifth meeting at home in Monrovia with the Ivorian Elephants, who are Africa’s reigning champions.
These brief historical notes show that tomorrow’s game will be a very serious clash between the teams of two great West African sisterly neighbors.
Their very close relations date back to the early 1960s, when President W.V.S. Tubman forged warm, friendly relations with Ivorian President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, even before La Cote d’Ivoire attained its independence from France on August 7, 1960. As is customary, the day of August 7 was celebrated in Liberia as a national holiday. During that Independence season—the 1960s—President Tubman made it a policy that each time an African nation got its independence, the day would be observed in Liberia as a national holiday. So La Cote d’Ivoire’s was no exception.
As Liberia meets the Goliath of African football, the Ivorian Elephants, the Lone Star must play with their hearts and muster all the determination, faith and stamina to play the match, and play like David to win.
The story of David and Goliath is all too familiar to us. For David, it was not the Philistine giant’s height, weight, strength or armor that mattered. None of these did. “You come with your strength and armor,” murmured David, “but I come in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.”
Besides his faith and total reliance on the power of God, all else that David had was his sling and a rock. And when he had finished using them, the giant lay on the ground, dead!
We pray that Coach James Salinsa Debbah has done well his coaching work, and prepared his team for a victorious encounter with the Elephants. What they need now are: faith in God, belief in themselves and the determination to do one thing—win the match.
All Liberians should join our team in fervent prayer that Liberia will rise above the past defeats and draws and go on to be triumphant against the Elephants both here at home and subsequently in Abidjan.
Remember, nothing is impossible. Indeed with God ALL things are possible.
Remember, too, President Edwin Barclay’s enduring challenge to all Liberians of every age. In his immortal Anthem, “The Lone Star Forever,” Barclay wrote,