Circle Pines: Montserrado County soccer team yesterday secured a 4-2 victory, after 1-1 regulating after extra time to win on penalty shootout (3-1) against Maryland County at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS).
It was the first soccer victory for Montserrado County since the National County Meet was established in 1956 by President William V.S. Tubman as part of his unification policy to bring the country politically together.
The two teams had settled to a 1-1 draw after Montserrado County took the lead midway into the second half through Musa Kabbey in the 73rd minute, but Kervin Allison cancelled the lead in the 85th minute with the equalizer.
Maryland County was also making their first attempt to have won the soccer trophy. Montserrado County have appeared in the finals four times (1956, 2011, 2013 and 2015).
However, it could have been an historical moment for the Southeastern Boys of Maryland following their appearance in the finals of the tournament after 60 years, but two saves from goalkeeper Koffa Nimely of Montserrado and a penalty thrown over the bar killed their dream.
Both teams had goal scoring opportunities in the first half, but failed to get the curtain raiser with the first half ending goalless.
Lewis Yarkpah of Montserrado missed a one-on-one chance in the 5th minute after receiving a pass from teammate Markey Morgan.
The Marylanders through Patrick Williams came close to goal a minute later with a right foot strike that traveled over the cross bar.
A stoppage time free kick awarded to Montserrado would have been the team's first goal, but goalkeeper Larry Hne of Maryland sprang brilliantly to save his side from conceding a goal in the first half.
In the second half, both teams made changes which saw the introduction of Musa Kebbay and Zayzay who are noted for netting goals upon their introduction in the second half of matches, while Maryland brought in Alfeh Allison, who scored their second goal in the team's 2-0 victory against Nimba County.
Striker Kebbay had a clear opportunity in the 67th minute after his teammate, Edward Ledlum's shot was blocked by goalkeeper Hne, but Kebbay missed the chance that saw frustration on the faces of his fellow teammates.
The opening goal of the match was finally netted home after Kebbay recovered from his earlier mistakes and easily dribbled goalkeeper Hne and rolled the ball into to the goalpost in the 73rd minute.
The goal in the view of the Montserrado supporters came at the right time, as game reached the last 10 minutes, but the "Harper Boys" reawakened their supporters that were dominant at the stadium after Kelvin Allison got the equalizer in the 84th minute by heading the ball into the net.
Maryland through Patrick Dweh could have gotten the winning goal in the last five minutes of extra time, but did not make use of the opportunity.