Liberia came closest to reaching the FIFA World Cup™ in qualifying for 2002 in the twilight of icon George Weah’s fantastic career. In a group that also included Ghana and Sudan, the Lone Stars pushed giants Nigeria to the wire, finishing a point behind and missing out on a first-ever chance at the FIFA World Cup. Four years later, they overturned a 2-0 loss to Gambia with a 3-0 win in the return leg to qualify for the group stage. They started that round off with a win over Mali before taking just one point from their final nine matches. In qualifying for South Africa 2010, they drew three home matches and lost their away contests to finish bottom of their group.
The current crop
Since producing former World Player of the Year Weah, the Liberians have been waiting for another thunder bolt to lead them. Without much in the way of experience, but with an improving domestic scene, they must rely on their collective athleticism and a spirit forged in qualifying for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
The key players
South Africa-based striker Anthony Laffor leads the team, while prospect Alex Nimely might partner him if he chooses to play for the Stars over England. Sekou Jabateh Oliseh is another promising youngster in the middle of the pitch.