It’s been less than a week since the 2018 WAFU U-20 Nations Cup has ended. The final was a disappointing one for many Liberians that watched their beloved team lost 2-1 to The Gambia U20 team after the end of the full 90 minutes.
Liberia may have lost the tournament, but produced the tournament’s best player, Allen Njie. Njie was named the Most Valuable Player during the closing ceremony for his performances during the competition. The 18-year old midfielder played a key role in Christopher Wreh’s team that went against all odds to reach the final. He captained the team in the semifinals against the Mali U20 team and the final against The Gambia U20 in the absence of David Tweh who was ruled out due to a minor injury.
Njie may have been unfortunate to register a goal in the tournament but his performances didn’t go unnoticed. After the 5-1 humiliation of Sierra Leone U20 in the final group stage game, Njie led the Junior Lonestar against Mali U20 as captain and performed excellently to help his side to a 1-0 win. His first major achievement of the competition came after the game against Mali U20 as he was named the player of the match.
His good form continued in the final where he became a top notch to crack. Njie would make his way through the Gambian midfield and defense with his attacking skills as well as being very defensive in the match. Not only that Njie was playing very well with his dribbling skills and his defensive works but his perfect long ball passes were threats to the Gambian team throughout the match. Liberia lost the final but Njie was named the best player of the tournament.
Speaking to LISCR FC Media after the tournament, the 18-year old said, if it wasn’t for his teammates and coaching staffs at LISCR FC, he wouldn’t have made it that far. He said that his hard work on the pitch was to bring pride to his coaches, teammates and for his late mother who’s not available to watch him play.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to win the tournament. It was a frustrating moment after the match, but we must move on. I’m excited to have won the Most Valuable Player award and I think it because of the hard work from the coaching staffs and teammates of LISCR. I dedicate these awards to the club president, Mr. Mustapha Raji, the coach, Tapha Manneh who helped me improved as a player and my teammates that work with me on the pitch. The fan too that believed in me. It’s a motivation for me to keep working harder. This is just the beginning of what is ahead of me. I promise to keep working harder to make the big stage. These awards are mostly dedicated to my late mother, Esther W. Monzon who is not around to see me play”, Njie told LISCR FC Media.
Njie will continue his work with LISCR FC that is currently participating in the Blue Cup hosted by Barrack Young Controller Football Club.