The Mediterranean Knights of Libya have made a winning start in Group F of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday September 1. The nation which has not known regular football for the past decade is beginning to find its roots into football on the continental stage.
Libya came from a goal down to defeat Gabon 2-1 in a match played at the Benina Stadium in Benghazi.
Not even the presence of English Premier League striker and skipper of the Gabonese team Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could deny the home side a chance to pick maximum points.
Gabon scored first with Andre Biyogo Poko finding the net after 11 minutes with a powerful shot.
The home side regrouped and attacked to try and find a goal. After 27 minutes Ali Salama leveled matters with a well timed header from a corner kick.
Early in the second half Aubameyang had the chance to restore the lead for Gabon, but his shot hit the crossbar. The two teams continued to create numerous scoring opportunities, but lack of sharp finishing denied them the chances.
With the clock ticking away Sanad EL Warfali headed in the winning goal after 89 minutes to make sure the Mediterranean Knights make a good start in the campaign.
“I am happy that we have made a winning start in the World Cup qualifiers. We need to keep working hard in the other games to come,” said Libya’s coach Javier Clemente.
Libya now top Group F, while Egypt who defeated Angola 1-0 on Wednesday are second. Clemente’s team will next travel to face Angola on September 5th.
Andrew Jackson ORYADA Snr