By: Tejan Federickson Fatorma
Kholifa Stars have pulled a surprising defeat against Wusum Stars in the ongoing Leone Rock Premier League.
The Tonkolili-based club shocked spectators on Saturday, December 22 at the Magburaka Town Field when Santigie Dumbuya put one past Wusum Stars goalie in the 71st minute of the match.
Although the rivalry between the two sides is high due to geographic proximity, the meeting between the two outfits is, however, the first in the Sierra Leone top-flight league.
This Northeast region derby reignited a longstanding rivalry between the districts of Bombali and Tonkolili. This resulted in a frantic atmosphere with spectators present at the Town Field expecting a high-intensity match. That was not the case as both teams were cautious with possession and keeping a semi-high line -much to the dismay of spectators.
As the match progressed, it was the host who grew into the match displaying resilience as they controlled the midfield. This nearly paid off in the 29th minute when Gibrilla Koroma came close.
Wusum Stars would have to wait until the 41st minute for their first chance at goal when Saymah Kamara failed to convert from close range.
There was all to play for in the second half as both teams attempted chances but it was Dumbuya’s strike that remained clinical in the final third of the match.
The former Kamakwie Stars striker’s goal earned the host a much-needed three points after a gloomy start to the campaign which saw them sitting 16th after seven games.
Head coach, Hassan Madie was optimistic that this victory would restore their confidence after losing a friendly match to Northern Rock FC by two goals to nil in Makeni.