Two beautiful goals from Foray Thoronka and Bill Walleekendeh were enough as the U23s begin their season with a 2-1 win against Team United (African Union) in the opener of the 2016 Diaspora World Cup in Maryland.
The U23s started the match with urgency, getting the first shot on target when captain Vlandy Eric Slueue dribbled past the left back to sent a powerful left-footed shot that was saved by the goalie in the 10th minute.
Eric Slueue was again at it when he almost put the U23s ahead in the 30th minute when he was one-on-one with the goalie but a last minute tackle on him saw that chance being missed.
The U23s wouldn’t wait too long to go ahead though. In the 40th minute, a free kick was given to the U23s about 25 yards out. Terry Kemokai and Foray Thoronka positioned themselves over the ball but it was the latter who sent the ball over the wall and into the back of the net to put his side a goal ahead.
The U23s had a chance of adding onto that score line before half-time but Edward Slueue missed a sitter thereby leaving the score at 1-0.
After the break, the U23s started slowly in the first five minutes but against the run of play, Bill Walleekendeh scored a brilliant goal after curving his shot outside the 18-yard box to leave the goalkeeper rooted as he could only watch the ball hit the back of his net.
With the score 2-0 to the u23s, Team United (African Union) tried to exert more pressure and that paid off in the 75th when they scored off a free kick to reduce the score line to 2-1.
The last 15 minutes were nail-biting as United attacked in droves but young goalkeeper Boubacar Keita was equaled to the task as he saved three close-ranged shots to deny United the draw.
The U23s still had the chance to put the game to bed but Thoronka missed a simple tap in off a pass from Walleekendeh.
The U23s will return to Maryland on Sunday, May 8th for Match Day 2 of the Diaspora World Cup.