Ethiopia lost AFCON 2015 qualification match against Algeria

The Ethiopian Walya Antelopes hosted  the Desert Foxes of Algeria on the first qualification match for the 2015 African Cup of Nations which will be hosted in Morocco. Placed in Group B of the qualification campaign with Malawi and Mali, Algeria and Ethiopia had first match of the group at the Addis  Ababa’s Ydnekachew Tesema national stadium. The Algerian team came to the competition after a widely admired showing at the 2014 world cup that saw them progress from group stage for the first time in their world cup history.

The  Walyas had friendly matches in Brazil before the match and the game was the first competitive match for Ethiopia’s new coach Mariano Barreto. The Walyas had good ball control of the match and failed to convert the chances they created. The Algerians were dangerous going forward and got their first goal after a deflected cross beat the poorly positioned goalie. In the second half an Algerian break from the left ended up punishing Ethiopia for a second goal. Ethiopia got the conciliation goal late in the game through a penalty kick.

Watch highlights of the match.

 

New head coach appointed for the Walyas

BarretoEthiopian football federation (EFF) has signed a two-year contract with Portuguese coach Mariano Barreto to lead the national team. The 57 year-old Barreto took over a team which has grabbed the attention of many ever since Ethiopia qualified for the African cup of nations after a 31 year hiatus. The team also made it to the final stages of a world cup qualification competition in Africa before its first ever world cup dream was cut short by the super eagles of Nigeria.

Mr Barreto agreed to work with local coaches and focus on adding young talent to the team. His main task with the team is securing qualification for the next African Cup of Nations that will be hosted in Morocco. The coach had previously worked with Ghanaian and Bahraini  national team and had club experiences in Portugal and Russia.

Ethiopia lost crucial home game for world cup 2014 qualification

Obi Mikel and Degu Debebe

Obi Mikel and Degu Debebe

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.

Ethiopia strengthen world cup hopes after defeating Botswana at home

Ethiopia defeated Botswana 1-0 today at Addis Ababa stadium to strengthen the lead at the top of group A for the 2014 world cup qualification that will be hosted in Brazil. The Ethiopian team also known as ‘Walya antelopes’ controlled the match for the majority game but was not able to break down a well-organized Botswana team. The man marking of the visitors was a challenge that the hosts failed to break until the dying minutes of the match. At the 89th minute Shimeles Bekele saw the run of fellow Getaneh Kebede and laid a splitting through ball for Getaneh who made no mistake in rounding the Botswana goalie to score the only goal of the game. Ethiopia now lead the group with 7 points while South Africa which defeated Central Africa Republic 2-0 at home a day earlier follow second with 5 points. Central Africa is third with 3 points and Botswana sit at the bottom with just one point. Next fixtures of the group sees Botswana take on Ethiopia at home and Central Africa Republic hosts South Africa on June 7, 2013.

The Walya Antelopes out of AFCON 2013

The team received a well deserved applause from Ethiopian fans all over the world.

The Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia crashed out of AFCON 2013 hosted in South Africa after losing two consecutive group matches against Burkina Faso and Nigeria’s Super Eagles.

walya

During its second game of the competition, the Burkina Faso Stallions convincingly beat Ethiopia 4-0. Ethiopia had the first chance of the match when a lovely one-two allowed star striker Saladin Seid lay the ball for Shimeles Bekele who shot at goal rebound of the post. Then Ethiopia was forced to make a substitution when its first game hero Adane Girma was unable to continue playing due to injury. The clinical stallions took the lead in the first half after Alaine Traore controlled a flying ball and struck a fierce shot leaving Ethiopian goal keeper Zerihun with no chance. The antelopes were pushing forward early in the second half when the Burkina goalie handled the ball outside the penalty area and was given his matching orders. With only 10 men playing Burkina Faso started defending deep and used a quick counter-attack game to defend their lead. Their plan worked out nicely as they were able to rip Ethiopian defense apart with their counter that they added  three more goals, a second for Alaine Traore and one goals each for Yusuf Kone and Jonathan Pitroipa.

Ethiopia played against a Nigeria team that include Obi Mikel and others who play in big European clubs for the last group match of the competition. The team looked improved both in organized defending and attacking game than its second match. The two professional footballers from outside Ethiopia, Yusuf Salah and Fuad Ibrahim were also used for the first time in the competition. Ethiopians passed the ball around more commandingly and used the wings to go forward into the Nigerian penalty box while the super eagles dropped long balls to find their strong forwards. The teams looked fairly even in the first half with a few chances falling fo both sides. Saladin had a half chance in the 29th minute but he scoffed his shot and landed in the gloves of super eagle custodian Vincent Enyeama.

The walya antelopes started the second half more lively than the eagles ad they were pushing ahead for their second goal of the tournament. The eagles retreated back and used a similar quick counter attack play and their fast forwards Moses and Imanike. The eagles counter attack resulted a penalty kick for Nigeria when Moses was brought down in the box by Alula Girma. Moses stepped up and converted the spot kick to give the eagles the lead with 10 minutes to go. Walyas had a chance to equalize right afterwards when a cross from the left found Saladin Seid unmarked in the box but his header was pushed away by Enyeama. As the game was nearing its end, the lively Moses went through on goal and was caught by Ethiopian goal keeper Sisay Basa who saw his second yellow card and had to leave the game. Moses again converted the resulting penalty kick and sealed Nigeria’s place in the quarter final of the competition.

Ethiopia’s performance in the competition is to be scrutinized more to identify areas that should be improved. The team showed that they can play a beautiful football and awakened the fans and the football community in the country for more results. It is widely known that experience is also one important factor in these competition and the antelopes surely will use this to build their team more.

Ethiopia draws its first match on African Cup of Nations against defending champions

adane-saladin

After a 31 year participation hiatus, Ethiopia played its first match on the 2013 African Cup of Nations hosted by South Africa and held the defending champions Zambia to a 1-1 draw. For a team which has been lost from the competition for so long, things looked grim when Ethiopia missed a sitter chance, was reduced to ten men and conceded a goal just at the stroke of half time. But the Ethiopian team also known as the Walya Antelopes fought back in the second half to score a goal and earn a deserved point from the match.

Right from the start of the match, Zambia team also known as Chipolopolo settled comfortably and started pressing forwards early in the game. They were restricted to long-range efforts that failed to bother the Ethiopian goalie Jemal Tassew. But the first real chance of the match fall to Ethiopia as a defensive lapse allowed a bouncing ball reach Saldin Seid who flicked the ball over the Zambian custodian and saw his effort bounce just over the bar.

Midway into the first half Saladin’s trickery resulted a foul in the penalty box and Ethiopia was awarded a spot kick. Saldin stepped up to take the penalty but his tame shot was well saved by Mweene. Then things turned sour for Ethiopia when a through ball was played to Lungu and Ethiopian custodian Tassew rushed out from his goal to smother the attacker but caught him in a nasty challenge that resulted his sending off. Then at the stroke of half time a nice exchange allowed Collins Mbesuma through and he scored the first goal for Zambia.

The Walya Antelopes started the second half strongly and were looking for a way back into the game. Then midway into the second half a slick pass from substitute Addis Hintsa found Saladin that laid the ball to Adane Girma and Adane fired a fierce shot to score Ethiopia’s first goal of the tournament. Zambia tried to respond and pushed forward but Ethiopia held up tightly at the back to finish the game 1-1.

The other teams in the group Nigeria and Burkina Faso  also draw 1-1 in a later game. Ethiopia will next face Burkina Faso on January 25 at the same Mbombela stadium.

From slum life to Disney film: Ugandan teen chess star

She grew up in one of the poorest spots on earth. She couldn’t read or write. As a child, she scrounged for food each day for herself, her mother, and her brother.

But a chance encounter with a chess coach turned her into a rising international chess star, the subject of a book — and the protagonist in a future Disney movie.

Ugandan teenager Phiona Mutesi is “the ultimate underdog,” her biographer says.

Those who work with her believe she’s 16. But since her birthday is unclear, she might still only be 15, they say.

Her father died from AIDS when Mutesi was around 3.

[CNN]

Ethiopia grouped with Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Zambia for AFCON 2013

The group draw for the 29th African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2013) was held in Durban, South Africa yesterday. The Ethiopian men national football team also known as “the Walya Antelopes” who qualified for the competition after a 30 year hiatus were drawn in Group C with the defending champions Zambia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. The full draw of the tournament is as follows:

GROUP A – South Africa (Hosts), Angola, Cape Verde, Morocco

GROUP B – Ghana, Mali, Congo DR, Niger

Group C – Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso

Group D – Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Algeria, Togo

Group D has been labeled as the group of death with Cote d’Ivoire full of European based players already the favorites for the cup.

It was a good draw for Ethiopia to avoid the hosts, or the favorite team in the group level but the team still has to overcome the powerful Nigerians and the defending champions who will join the tournament with elevated spirits. The Walyas should focus on taking one game at a time without overestimating their rivals.

Ethiopian Star Saladin Seid

Ethiopia qualified to the 29th African cup of nations

The Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia overturned a 5-3 away loss to Sudan to qualify for the 29th African cup of nations scheduled to be held in South Africa between January 19, 2013 to February 10, 2013. The first leg of this crucial match was held in Khartoum before two weeks and Sudan defeated Ethiopia 5-3 after hitting a quick double penalty at the end of the game. So Ethiopia had to beat Sudan by a two goal difference to qualify for the continental cup.

Ethiopian national football team (Walya Antelopes)

The match begun in tense atmosphere when the Sudanese team start time-wasting starting from the first minute inorder to frustrate the home team. The Ethiopian team showed their desire to win by controlling the midfield but they were not able to find a cutting pass to the forwards who were mostly idle in the first half.

Ethiopia made a change on the left back on the break and the effect of this substitution by coach Sewenet Bishaw was visible as Ethiopia started getting closer to the Sudanese goal. Then the team grabbed its first goal after a slick through ball found Getaneh Kebede on the right age of the penalty box who crossed it for a header goal by Adane Girma. Shortly after that a loose ball from a free kick was crossed towards the penalty box up by Addis Hintsa and Saladin Seid showed his sharpness by pouncing on the ball and scoring the second goal for Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s last African competition came in 1982 and the country is celebrating its return to the competition it founded after 31 years absence. Congratulations to the whole team from AradaOnline!

Ethiopian men athletes had another disappointing day in London Olympics

All three Ethiopian marathon runners did not finish the race

Ethiopian men athletes continued their poor form at London Olympics as they once again flattered in the men’s marathon competition. The men’s shaky result is a clear sign that the athletics federation should evaluate its selection criteria as well as the development of young athletes in the long distance races. Considering the fact that all the Gold medals were won by female athletes in the long distance races that the country is known for it seems there is a problem in the men’s side of the team.

In his commentary, the proficient Haile Gebreselassie also voiced his disappointment in the team selection by the athletics federation. All the three athletes started the race comfortably in a warm London morning  but started to fade away slowly leaving only Ayele Abshiro at the leading pack. Though he had a fast time at the Dubai marathon, the relatively inexperienced Ayele also started to drift from the leading pack and was out of sight from the race. The front pack narrowed to two Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kiprotich and one Ugandian  Stephen Kiprotich. After recovering from some signs of weakness, Stephan overtook the two Kenyans to win the Gold medal for Uganda. Stephan will receive the second ever Gold medal for his country in a grand style at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics tonight.

The Ethiopian men athletes showed a poor form in tactics at the 5000m and 10000m track races looking unable to read the race and find comfortable positions at the end of the races. The once famous team work was also absent in this Olympics and it was apparent that 10000m competition needs competent athletes in both men and women.