11 June 2018

Africa: Algeria Dump Ethiopia to Qualify for Ghana 2018

The Algerian women national side completed a double win over Ethiopia in the last round qualifier to cruise to the 2018 Total African Women Cup of Nations. The Fennecs managed to defeat Lucy in Addis Ababa 3-2 to complete a resounding 6-3 aggregate victory that saw them qualify for the prestigous African women football tournament for the fifth time in their history.

Ethiopia stared off the duel on a bright note as they knocked the doors of the visitors as early as the third minute. Tarikuwa Debiso found herself unmarked after a goalmouth scrammble gave her the space to strike but her effort was collected by an altered Algerain keeper Kahina Takenint. The Fennecs eventually enter into the game and were succesuful in halting the offesnive stargerty of the homers. In the 18th minute Naima Bouhani gave Algeria the lead. Bouhani collected a superb pass from Assia Sihoum to fire past the helpless Ethiopian keeper Abaynesh Ereqelo.

Bouhani continued to create havoc on the Ethiopian backline and was very unlcuky to see her effort sailing wide in the 26th minute. Loza Abera came the closest to level matters for the home side but Takenint was brave enough to deny her froma tight angle 10 minutes from the break. Algeria extended their lead at brink of half time when team captain Fatima Sekouane heads home leaving the on rushing Ereqelo stranded.

Upon the resumption Lucy's showed a bit of rejuvination in their style of attack; nonetheless it was the Algerians who struck a goal again. Bouhani, who had been a thron in the flesh for the Ethiopians, left her markers to the dead with a blistering pace and sent a low drive that was denied by Ereqelo but Myriam Benlazar was qucik to react on the rebound as the visitors got a commanding 3-0 lead in 52nd.

Three minutes after the hour mark a maginificent solo effort from Abera halved the deficet. Abera beat her marker to unleash a powerful shot from the edge of the box that Takenint struggled to beat off. Lucy continued on to get goals as they pile on the pressure. A perfect delivery from Tigist Zewede down the right flank was headed in by Abera for Ethiopia's second. The Algerian defense looked a bit shaky at times but got hold off a constatnt threats from Abera, Abaynesh Kelsa, Rehima Zerega and Hiwot Dengiso to go through to the African Women Cup of Nations for the first time in four years.

Match Recation:

Selam Zereaye, Ethiopia Head Coach

We tried to field a team that can attack. We had setbacks in our attacking plan whilst that led our visitors to grab two goals. The goals we conceded totally brought us down. They (Algerian) effectively capitalized on our weak links and played on counters to get goals. We showed character until the end but eventually lost the tie. I am content with our performance of today. I take full responsibility of the outcome of the duel.

Azzedine Chih, Algeria Head Coach

I am very happy with the result we have notched. Our objective was simple and clear; that was to get a ticket that can take us to Ghana. Ethiopia has a very strong side and they were better than us but we were good in getting goals. I think our goal scoring prowess is what got us a spot in AWCON. Performance wise the game was very fantastic. I am very glad to see a lot of people watching the game in the Addis Ababa Stadium.

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