Liberty bow out of Confederations Cup
Dansoman-based Liberty Professionals on Sunday blew a golden chance of playing in the lucrative mini league stage of the Confederations Cup when they lost 2-0 on penalties to Al Hilal of Sudan.
Full time scores was 1-0 in favour of Liberty.
The outcome of the match left the army of supporters who thronged the stadium to cheer them to victory glued to their seats in disbelief as the Ghanaians wasted four penalties on the trot to hand the qualification ticket to their opponents who won the first game 1-0 in Sudan two weeks ago on a silver platter.
It was however the visitors' tall and agile Abdulla Elmaz Mahgou who doubles as the national goalie who emerged the hero of the day when he saved Michael Helebge and Stanley Afedzie's kicks.
Liberty had themselves to blame as they could have sent their opponents packing with a bit of precision during the regulations time.
The Dansoman club for once enjoyed massive support from fans of Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak who in the spirit solidarity chanted all afternoon after their various impressive victories on Saturday in similar assignments.
With the pendulum of action tilting from one end to the other, the "Scientific soccer lads" emerged the obvious side to carry the day as Felix Baffor, Helegbe and Jonathan Quartey kept the Sudanese vital area boiling.
Mohgou however stood between Liberty and goal scoring when he made several important saves to keep a clean sheet until Afedzie's connection from a corner kick confused the defence and zoomed into the net for the only goal on the hour mark.
The goal though unexpected, electrified the packed stadium, charging the Ghanaians to go for the kill, which looked a matter of time until it finally eluded them.
Liberty came a better side from recess winning the admiration of fans with beautiful but unfruitful crafty play to further raise the hope of the fans.
But it was Baffoe who incurred the anger of the crowd when he twice missed two glorious opportunities to solidify the lead with unpardonable misses from close range.
Coach Silas Tetteh immediately replaced Baffoe who grew nervous by the minute with David Boateng who initially brought a bit upfront but was reduced to an ordinary player as the game progressed to end the game with a single goal.
Not even the prayerful mood of the fans and the players prior to the penalty kicks could save skipper Issifu Ansah from misdirecting the first kick that kissed the goalposts.
Helegbe, Boateng and Afedzie followed suit whilst Liberty's goalkeeper Patrick Antwi saved Ribeito Gelidison and Saeed Anwar Abduel's kicks with Abdelaziz Amam and Idris Bardrel Dindaod scoring for their side.
LINE-U: LIBERTY-Patrick Antwi, Issifu Ansah, Stanley Afedzie, Agyemang Hanson, James Dissiramah, David Addo, Jonathan Quartey, Osei Akoto, Kwame Obeng Darko, Felix Baffoe/David Boateng, Michael Helegbe.
AL-Hilal: Abdalla Elmuz Mahgou, Kavar Hytham Mostafa, Ahmed Amam Ramdan, Ahmed Sallih Mohammed/Tambel Hytham Kamel, Idris Bardrel Dindaod, Gabriel Pedro/ Gebreel Alaa Eldin, Hassan Mohammed Bastaoi, Dario Khan, ribeito Galidison, Saeed Anwar Abdul and Abdelaziz Khalid.