Sunday 13, 2013

2014 WCQ Play Off 1st Leg: Ethiopia Vs Nigeria – Addis Ababba

Cecafa’s only remaining nation on the road to Brazil; Ethiopia hosts African Champions Nigeria in what is their biggest game in recent years.

Against all odds, Ethiopia topped group A ahead of much fancied South Africa despite suffering three points dock for fielding an ineligible player in the win over Botswana.

The Walya Antelopes won five out of their six group games albeit losing to Botswana through a boardroom decision.

On the other hand, Nigeria outmuscled Kenya, Malawi and Namibia to top group F.

Going into the first leg, Ethiopia will aim at getting a decent result in order to ease their workload when they visit Nigeria in the second leg.

Nigeria Coach Stephen Keshi has a lot of respect for his opponents but believes his side can pick the desired result.

“I have a lot of respect for the Ethiopians and all the teams that made it to the last round of the qualifier and I am certain that it will be tough, unpredictable and exciting for both the so-called big teams and the minnows,” said Keshi. 

“The last time we played the Ethiopians it was quite tough and I know when we meet next it’s going to be the same thing.” 

Ethiopia will be without South Africa-based striker Getaneh Kebede, who has scored four goals thus far in the qualifiers. He has been ruled out of this clash due to a nagging ankle injury. 

While the Super Eagles have featured at four World Cups, the Walya Antelopes are yet to do so. 

The head-to-head record between the two countries is equally in favour of the African champions – five wins, a draw and a loss. 

The last match between both teams in Addis Ababa was in 2011 and Nigeria needed an 86th minute equaliser from skipper Joseph Yobo to snatch a 2-2 draw. 

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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