International Roundup: Johnson Scores as Liberia Opens World Cup Qualifying

Liberia opened its 2022 World Cup Qualifying on Monday with a 3-1 win over Sierra Leone.  Real Salt Lake forward Sam Johnson captained his side in the victory, the first in a two-leg, aggregate-goal series, and scored the third goal in the 89th minute as Liberia took a commanding lead into the second leg on Sunday.

Liberia took the lead in the 18th minute on a penalty only to see the match leveled in the 56th minute.  Then consecutive goals from Mohammad Sangare – again from the penalty spot – in the 82nd minute and Johnson just before the final whistle gave Liberia the edge heading into the second leg.

For Johnson, it was his third goal for Liberia in 15 caps and first of 2019.  He currently shares the team lead at RSL with nine goals alongside Albert Rusnák, who plays for Slovakia on Sunday in a 2020 European Championships qualifier against Croatia (12:45 p.m. MT, ESPN3).

The remaining schedule for RSL internationals is below as nine players play for their countries.

Thursday, September 5
U.S. U-20 vs. Croatia U-20

Friday, September 6
Slovakia vs. Croatia, 12:45 p.m. MT (ESPN3)
U.S. vs. Mexico, 6:30 p.m. MT (FS1; East Rutherford, New Jersey)

Sunday, September 8
Liberia at Sierra Leone, 10:30 a.m. MT

Monday, September 9
Slovakia at Hungary, 12:45 p.m. MT (ESPN3)
U.S. U-23 vs. Japan U-23, 5:00 p.m. MT (Chula Vista, California; Closed to the public)
U.S. U-20 vs. United Arab Emirates U-23

Tuesday, September 10
U.S. vs. Uruguay, 6:00 p.m. MT (FS1; St. Louis, Missouri)
Venezuela vs. Colombia, 7:00 p.m. MT (Tampa, Florida)