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Football | Walia's return home, heads high

The Ethiopian national football team lost 2-0 to Nigeria after Moses scored two penality kicks of in a period of 12 minutes to the end of the game. Burkina Faso however kept its end of the bargain by finishing in a goalless draw against Zambia.

The Walia’s have showed quality football last night African Cup group C qualifying match against Nigeria. It was possible some mistook them for Nigeria and that will not be due to their green jerseys.

Coach Sewnet Bishaw has replaced seven of the players from the Burkina Baso match thus letting all the 23 players get a taste of the tournament and the experience that comes with it.

That included the number one goalkeeper of the team, Sisay Bancha, who was forced to sit on the bench for unsatisfactory reason costing the Ethiopian team a possible chance of qualifying from the group. His superb performance last night only reinforces that assumption. However, he was responsible for getting the unnecessary yellow card for arguing with the referee though his mistake has no bearing on the outcome of the game except making Ethiopia probably the only team that played three games with three goalkeepers in the tournaments history.

The team showed improved confidence when they continued in their offensive play even after they conceded the first goal and their chance of passing dimmed. The lack of skill in finishing goal opportunities and experience was the only thing that kept them from beating Nigeria and even more. And that comes with time and sustained effort to build on the success already achieved.

 The colourful Ethiopian fans displayed their maturity when they hanged an apologizing banner for their behaviour in the first game for which CAF fined Ethiopia.

The Walia’s made as all proud in participation as well as their beautiful play. We can only thank them and spare them the usual blame game that ensues after their return.

For detailed match report go here

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