Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has challenged the Lone Star to beat the Super Eagles in the return leg of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier in Calabar next month and earn $140,000 (about N22m).
Johnson-Sirleaf made the charge while presenting a cheque of $75, 000 to the ambitious Liberian team after they downed Ghana’s Black Stars during a friendly in Monrovia during the week.
Liberia need a win or a 3-3 draw to stand a realistic chance of advancing to the South Africa 2013 African soccer fiesta and according to Johnson-Sirleaf, the win over the Black Stars has given Liberians courage that the Eagles will also fall come October 13 when the two teams clash in Calabar. Liberia have only appeared twice in the Nations Cup and that was in 1996 and 2002.
“What we saw demonstrated the combination of professionalism and team spirit. We are proud of you. And if you bring the Eagles down, we will more than double what we have given to you,” said Johnson-Sirleaf who is Africa’s first female President.
The first leg decided in Monrovia ended in a 2-2 draw, with Eagles coach Stephen Keshi feeling more of the pressure.
However, Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike stated that Eagles have their destiny in their own hands and as such the Lone Star will have no hiding place.
“The 2-2 draw was not a bad result for us in such a tough away game, though we wanted to beat them and we were on course for that but they eventually drew level,” the Spartak Moscow star said.
“We have to accept the fact that there are no minnows in football again and all the African teams want to beat Nigeria. We have the ticket in our own hands. We have assured President Jonathan of the Nations Cup ticket and we will get in Calabar,” he stressed.