Sloppy Ethiopia Held to a Goalless Draw by a Spirited Kenya
Ethiopia and Kenya draw in their 2019 AFCON Qualifiers match.
Ethiopia suffered a disappointing result at home on Wednesday as they were held to a goalless draw by Kenya in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group F qualifier at the Bahir Stadium in Bahir Dar City.
The result leaves Waliya Antelopes tied on four points with Kenya, who top the group on goal difference, without Sierra Leone’s ban in place.
Abraham Mebratu’s side didn’t really do enough to deserve to win the game, and Kenya might even have grabbed the three points themselves, hitting the post in the first half.
Ovella Ochieng almost opened proceedings with a wonderful goal in the 8th minute, winning the ball brilliantly in midfield and attempting a chip over Samson Asseffa that just landed on the roof of the net.
It soon became clear that while Kenya were prepared to sit back and absorb pressure from Ethiopia where necessary, they were certainly not just here to defend, causing Abraham Mebratu’s defence all sorts of problems in the first half.
In the 15th minute Michael Olunga found space inside the area and his shot was well saved at his near post by Aseffa.
Asechalew Tamene then conceded possession poorly inside his own half, and the ball came to Victor Wanyama, who whipped in a vicious low cross that Francis Kahata turned onto the post.
Midfielder Eric Johanna was the next man to test Aseffa, his long range effort spectacularly tipped away by the Antelopes ‘keeper.
Ethiopia were getting little change out of their opponents at the other end, though they did cause a couple of scares from set pieces. On one such occasion, Gatoch Panom’s flick on from a corner flew across the face of goal.
Getaneh Kebede then almost created a bit of magic out of nowhere, flicking the ball up for himself and volleying an effort that forced Patrick Matasi into his first save of the night.
And right at the end of the first half, Dawa Hotessa just failed to get on the end of a cross before the ball fell to Shemeles Bekele on the edge of the area, and he lashed over.
Waliya Antelopes started the second half with a bit more spark, and Mulualem Mesfin headed Abdulkerim Mohammed ’s corner just wide in the 49th minute.
Gatoch and Kebede were linking far better in this half, with Biniyam Belay also brought on to add some fight up front, but the Waliyas still battled to create clear chances.
When Kebede did send Gatoch clear, Musa Mohammed made a superb last ditch challenge to deny the Egypt-based attacker.
At the other end, similar brilliance from Temene stopped Wanyama from getting a shot away.
In the 76th minute, Reshid found Gatoch with a raking pass, and he skipped inside but his shot flew well off target.
Still Waliyas battled to find a way through and Mesfin was next to miss, heading Hotessa’s cross well off target. When Tesfaye tipped over Tamene’s effort in stoppage time, the last chance of the game had gone.
How they lined-up
Ethiopia Starting XI: Samson Assefa (GK) – Abdulkerim Mohammed, Asechalew Tamene, Anteneh Tesfaye, Ahmed Reshid – Mulualem Mesfin, Gatoch Panom – Dawa Hotessa, Shemeles Bekele, Biniyam Belay – Getaneh Kebede (C)
Kenya Starting XI: Patrick Matasi (GK) – Musa Mohammed, Brain Mandela, Abud Omar – Philemon Otieno, Victor Wanyama (C), Dennis Odhiambo, Francis Kahata, Eric Johanna – Ovella Ochieng’, Michael Olunga.