15 October 2012

Ethiopia: Nation Reaches First Afcon Finals in 31 Years

The Ethiopian national football team booked their place at the the finals of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 home win over Sudan on Sunday at the Addis Ababa stadium.

Goals from Adane Girma in the 63rdminute and Saladin Seid on 66 minutes minutes secured the first continental finals in 31 years for the Wallias. Sudan brought a 5-3 lead to Ethiopia from the first leg match played in Khartoum last month . The 5-5 aggregate result meant Ethiopia qualified for the finals on away goals rule.

At the end of the game the Ethiopian national team coach Sewnet Bishaw told cafonline. com that the first leg defeat was indeed heavy. "But as I expected we reversed that result with a simple 2-0 win in front of our fans. My boys created a number clear scoring opportunities both in the first and second halves. These attempt bore fruits in the second half. We got what we wanted," he said.

Ethiopian team captain Degu Debebe stressed that this was a once in life time opportunity. "I say that this is a generation that made a new Ethiopian history. We were the founders of the African Football Confederation along with South Africa ,Sudan and Egypt. I have been told time and again about this great Ethiopian history. But I have never seen our team to play in the African Cup of Nations final. I got this opportunity today. This is a great moment for me," said Debebe with emotion.

The Sudanese head Coach Mazda Abdallah said that football matches do throw up such endings "It is very disappointing. I didn't expect that my side would concede defeat," said the Sudanese coach. In the 85th minute the Ethiopian goalkeeper Jemal Tasew was taken to hospital after a collision with Mohamed Abdelmonem . The Ethiopian side brought in three substitutes when the accident happened with Adis Hintsa, a midfielder, was forced go in goal for the remaining five minutes.

The Sudanese side played went in search of a goal in an attempt to exploit the absence of the first choice goalie but they couldn't make it count . The first half ended goalless but when Adane opened the scoring the atmosphere was changed in favour of the Ethiopian side. A few minutes later Saladin Seid secured the vital win for the hosts.

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