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Soccer News of Tuesday, 30 January 2001

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There was wild celebration on the streets of Lagos Sunday night when news of Ghana?s 1-3 fall in Accra to lowly rated Liberia filtered in.

Drinking joints at in some areas including Ojuelegba and Shitta densely populated by soccer fans came to live as fans drank to Ghana?s tragedy deep into the night as the fall also catapulted Nigeria to number one spot on the table.

Nigerians have been nursing the fear that Ghana who were sitting comfortably atop the group may stop the Eagles from a third consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals

Nigeria are now tied at six points with Liberia but with superior goals difference. Nigeria a +4 goal difference against Liberia?s +1. The Lone Star which hammered Nigeria 2-1 in Monrovia last year showed that they are also good enough to represent Africa at the mundial as they walloped Ghana 3-1 right before home fans in Accra Sunday night.

In Accra, it was a national tragedy for millions of Ghanaians who helplessly watched as George Weah?s Liberia dimmed the Black Stars.

Liberia, surprise 2-1 winners over Nigeria last year in Monrovia shot ahead in the 10 minute of the match and held onto the goal in the first forty-five minutes.

Obviously sensing a disaster, Ghana?s new coach, Jones Attaqueyilo made three substitutes and this paid off in the 70th minute when Emmanuel Duah scored the equalizer from a goal mount scramble.

The Liberians contested the goal but he Moroccan referee waived aside their protest ad the score stood at 1-1 after 70 minutes of real grueling encounter.

The Liberians restarted the match with grim determination written all over them. Most of the Lone Star?s players had told a day to the match that they would lay down their lives if need be to stop Ghana?s domination over them.

They lived up to their boast as they scored again from the penalty spot through Musa Markos in the 80th minute.

This time around, it was the turn of the Ghanaians to protest but, like it first happened with the 70-minute equalizer, the Moroccan referee was unyielding.

After the restart, the Liberians took the match beyond their host with a Shannon 88th backbreaking goal which left eh Liberians celebrating and the Ghanaians ruminating over another sad end to their World cup dream.

Liberia?s skipper, George Weah could not hold back tears after the match.

?We came here to beat them (Ghana). Ghana have always been beating Liberia but this time, our generation is out to change all that,? he said.