Addis Ababa — Because of injuries sustained during training games, key striker Samson Elias and defender Andargachew Solomon of the Ethiopian U-20 national team will miss Sunday's African Youth Championship qualifier against Egypt.
The home side's head coach Gezahegn Manyazewal and his assistant Tesfaye Gebru were reported to have been forced to 11th hour changes to replace Samson, who suffered a serious bone fracture on the arm last week, and Andargachew, who injured a leg during a subsequent warm-up game.
The trainers have called Ethiopian Airlines' team forward Yilma "Cacciamali" Tesfaye and Coffee's midfielder Michael Shiferaw for the crucial first leg at Addis Ababa Stadium this Sunday. Both are experienced players capable of filling the vacuum. Keepers Temesgen Fisiha and Menilik Zewdu were also included in the team recently.
Other three key playersTewodros Bekele of Coffee, Yared Kebede of Electric and Fasil Tekalign of Saint Georgewere dropped last week from the U-20 squad after they were found to exceed the age limits. The absence of those midfielders and of the latest injury cases is likely to weaken the home team's position for the challenge against the Egyptians and win a place in the 11th African Youth Championship finals to be staged in Ghana.
According to defender Samuel Demisie, the difficulty is going to be synchronising the new players with the rest of the team for the tough game.