All Mwesigwa knows of Liberia is ‘Weah’
Posted Tuesday, March 19 2013 at 02:00
Uganda lie second in Group J with two points behind Senegal, who are on four, and above Angola and Liberia, who have both collected two and one point respectively.
When Uganda and Liberia spurred in the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Kampala, rather than former Cranes star Philip Ssozi’s winner, the other big story was on the streets.
Having arrived in the country on match day, the 1995 African, European and World Footballer of the Year, George Weah, was played cat and mouse by the hosts only to reach Nakivubo with just a few minutes to the end of the game.
Weah took the kick in the teeth in stride and avenged in the best manner possible, creating the goals in the 2-0 win over Uganda in Monrovia. Little wonder that Andy Mwesigwa, the Cranes skipper, has only memories of Weah when you mention Liberia, Uganda’s opponents in Sunday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier in Monrovia.
So strong is Weah’s stature, the man who once scored a goal for AC Milan after dribbling from his own half, that his name clouds your mind when the Lone Stars are mentioned.
“(I know) nothing much really (about Liberia) but I do respect the country,” said Mwesigwa, part of the 16 Cranes players that started training at Namboole yesterday.
“But of course you know when it comes to football, things are different. You may find a country has a big name but a country with a small name beats it.
“For me I will respect Liberia, they once produced the European, African and World Footballer of Year in George Weah. That’s what I can say about Liberia. George Weah.”
Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, Dioh Williams BK Hacken, Sweden and Francis Doe of Selangor FC, Malaysia are some of the standout names in the current Liberia team coached by interim coach Frank Jericho Nagbe, who was picked by a Weah-led vetting team.
The other player, who will hope his words match his game, is Indonesia-based Zah Rahan Krangar, who has famously been quoted in Liberian press that “I am hopeful of a win...though I don’t know (by) how many goals we shall beat the Ugandans on the night.”
Mwesigwa, who turns out for FC Ordabasy in Kazakhstan, is high on confidence heading into Sunday. But the defender remained cautious.
“We want to win the game but if we get a point that will be a good result,” he said, “That will mean we are still in the race, also depending on what happens in the other game (between Angola and Senegal).