Ethiopia's defender Alula Girma (left) with Walusimbi of Uganda

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – First of all, I want to congratulate the young Ethiopian national football players and their coaching staff for taking us along on a beautiful journey few of us expected our team was capable to travel.

Having said that, our team will face Uganda for the second time in the tournament, after Uganda beat us 2-1 on the opening day of Group C match. Tomorrow’s encounter will be for 3rd place finish and$10,000 prize money.

Physical Condition Questioned

Could Ethiopia avenge the loss and defeat Uganda to finish 3rd? Well, anything is possible with this young team, which seems to have gained so much support and adulation both from the media and opposing teams. No one can question the players’ technical ability and with the new found confidence, they could do it. However, the team seems to wither away in the second half, as they ran out of gas due to the heat but also because of the lack of adequate physical preparation before the tournament.

That said, Oumed Oukri and Shimeles Bekele, who between them boast five of Ethiopia’s six goals, have been the shining stars of the tournament. This is probably the kind of exposure that our players needed to showcase their talents and hopefully, they will be noticed and recruited to play professionally abroad.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

3rd Place: Ethiopia vs Uganda – at 1:30pm* (2:30 am US West Coast time or 5:30am US East Coast Time )

Final: Tanzania vs the Ivory Coast – at 3:30pm*

*Local Tanzania time. Tanzania is 8 hours ahead of US East Coast or 11 hours ahead of US West Coast.

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