Ethiopian national football team, also known as the Walia Antelopes, lost their first of a two game match against the Nigerian super eagles at the Addis Ababa stadium. In this highly anticipated match by the two most populous countries in Africa, Nigeria came back from a goal behind to win the match 2-1. The Nigerian forward Eminike who plays for Fenerbahce shined for super eagles as he scored both goals.
Though Ethiopia were the underdogs during the match they played an entertaining barcelona style tiki-taka all over the pitch but were not able to create enough chances to test the Nigerian goalie. After going through the nigerian defense at ease, Adane Girma’s attempt that flew just over the bar was a disappointing miss for the walias in the first half. The star striker of the team, Saladin Seid beautifully controlled a long pass inside the box and beat the goal keeper Viincent Enyeama with a soft touch but the Nigerian defender cleared it just on the line. Seid and most of the fans furiously contested the decision but the referees waved it off. The hosts also made another attempt on goal after Seid sneaked a strong shot just before half time and it was saved by Enyeama.
Ethiopia took the lead with another controversial decision when a left side cross from Behailu Assefa was caught by Enyeama just after it crossed the line. Super eagles started to control the ball and move forward after the goal and they equalized 10 minutes later with a long-range shot from Eminike flew past Jemal Tassew. The goal silenced the Addis Ababa stadium but the game then opened up as both teams tried to get the winner goal. Addis Hintsa’s header flashed by the post for Ethiopians while Nigeria hit the post with Ahmed Musa after a through ball found him one on one with Jemal. At the dying minute of the game Eminike was pulled down by Aynalem Hailu in the box and Eminike converted the spot kick to win the game for Nigeria.
Though Ethiopian fans were disappointed with the result the team played with a style that is adored by many in Ethiopia and continuous success it registered in recent days is being recognized by many international media.
Check the match highlights below.