Sudan edged east African neighbours Ethiopia in a thrilling contest played in Omdurman which produced eight goals during first leg of the final qualifier for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2013. The visitors were down 3-1 but got it back to 3-3 before Sudan had substitute Mohannad Al-Thir to thank for his brace of penalties which in the end confirmed their victory.
As the race for final places at AFCON 2013 entered the home stretch the 5-3 result was one of the highlights of a weekend of matches. The two neighbors Sudan and Ethiopia played out a thriller with Sudanese veterans Hiatham Mustafa and Faisal Al-Ajab involved in three of Sudan's goals while the Ethiopians deserved applause for the brave and entertaining performance that leaves the return match in Addis Ababa next month a mouth-watering prospect.
It took Sudan only 7 minutes to go in front when Faisal Al-Ajab's smart low cross found Mudathir Careca who converted past goal-keeper Biniyam Habtamu. Sudan then poured forward with numerous scoring opportunities. The visitors' first attempt came from Getaneh Kebede's shot outside the box but it didn't have enough power to trouble Sudan goalkeeper Akram Al-Hadi Saleem .
Then against the run of the play unmarked Getaneh Kebede leveled for the visitors on 14 minutes when controlled the ball from midfield and rushed towards goal before chipping over Akram who come out to meet him. Less than a minute after the equalizer Sudan regained the lead when Mohmad Ahmed Bisha scored from a rebound after Biniyam failed to hold Al-Ajab's shot.
Musab Omer's free kick made it three for Sudan at the end of the first half.
After the restart, Ethiopia upped the stakes and took the game to the hosts with Asrat Megersa and Addis running the midfield and getting the better of Nazar Hamid and Al-Shighel from Sudan. Getaneh got his and the team's second goal when he larched onto a rebound from Seyoum's shot on 50th minute.
Sudan coach Mazda introduced striker Bakry Abdulgadir and the two veterans Haitham Mustafa and Mohannad Al-Tahir but Ethiopia who changed things round scoring their 3rd goal and equaliser through by Adane Girma. He headed home on 68th minute much to the disbelief of the home fans. Sudan seemed shell shocked and only recovered in the last 10 minutes when Mohamed Al Tahir converted penalties on 83 and 90 minutes .