Margibi County Ends Grand Bassa’s Dream
The quarterfinal stage of the 2016/17 National County Sports Meet came to an end Thursday January 5, with Nimba and Margibi Counties booking the remaining two spots.
Nimba County unleashed its power against Lofa County in an entertaining show, to finish as runners-up in Group B.
Mark Yallah scored twice in six minutes in the second half to give Nimba County the lead over Lofa County, before Daniel Tuazama poke in a third ten minutes later to ensure Nimba eliminated Lofa 3-0 to progress.
The result gave Nimba County, who are four times champions, five points in three matches in the quarter-final.
Margibi County ended defending champions Grand Bassa County’s dream of becoming the first side to win the title three times in succession with a 1-0 victory in the earlier match.
Lester Boyd netted in the lone goal for Margibi County in the 39th minute to hand Coach Arab Fofana and the 2013 champions their second win of the tournament, and a semi-final place.
Margibi did not win a single match in the preliminaries, but drew all their group matches without scoring a goal, finishing as runners-up to Lofa on two points.
But they are through to the semi-finals after collecting seven points in three matches.
In Group A, on Wednesday January 4, Montserrado County defeated River Gee County 2-0 to win the group and progress to the last four.
Joseph Zayzay and Musa Kaba scored the two goals that sent Montserrado County into the last four, finishing with seven points in Group A.
Maryland County lost to Grand Cape Mount County 2-1, but managed to qualify on goal difference ahead of Cape Mount.
The two counties finished with four points, but Maryland’s superior goal difference was enough for them to get a semi-final ticket.
Montserrado were the only side that reached the semi-final last year.
In kickball, favorites Nimba County and Margibi County reached the semi-final without tasting defeat so far in the competition.
The two sides have remained serious rivals for the title in the past two years.
Champions Nimba defeated Grand Bassa County, who finished third last year, 4-1 to get to the semis, while Margibi, the defeated finalists of last year, won the points in their last match after Grand Gedeh County pulled out from the tournament.
Montserrado County came from behind to beat Maryland County 2-1 to finish Group A as runners up.
Already eliminated Bong County defeated Gbarpolu County 3-1 to end a disappointing year. The organizers said a draw to pair the counties for the semi-final will take place Friday at the Sports Commission on Broad Street.