Saladin Said Scores Twice to Sink CAR

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopia’s Saladin Said’s (Salah El Din Ahmed Said) brace in each half helped his side secure a comfortable 2-0 win over Central African Republic (CAR) on Sunday at the Addis Ababa Stadium in the World Cup Group A qualifier.

The win sent the Ethiopian team on top of the group on four points. Beaten CAR are in second place on 3 points followed by South Africa on 2 points and then Botswana on 1 point. All four teams have played two matches so far.

It was an evenly balanced game in terms of ball possession in the first half but the Ethiopian side struggled to create chances until Saladin Said broke the deadlock after receiving an inviting cross from Minyahile Teshome in the 36th minute. Just three minutes earlier Adane Girma narrowly missed the ball from the goal mouth.

Two minutes from time Said missed another good scoring opportunity. The crowd erupted with joy right after the ball crossed the goal-line for the opener.

After 42 minutes in the second half Saladin Said returned to haunt the visitors with his and the team ‘s second goal. He collected a pass from Ashenafi Bekele before scoring.

This was the third goal for Egypt based Said in the a week after the striker scored against South African in match day one . “I am very happy for the result.

We won the game and that gives us the hope of qualifying. I scored two goals. That gives me extra pleasure,” he said. “In any match the most important thing is to win. My goals wouldn’t be that joyful if we were not victorious.”

Ethiopian coach Sewnet Bishaw said that that he is very much delighted by his team’s performance saying “The win over CAR and the draw against South Africa will inspire the players for the 2013 African Cup qualifier against Benin which is scheduled to take place next Sunday.

This result has indeed the potential to inspire us from henceforth. We deserve the 2-0 win. Now I look ahead in anticipation simply because the national team will have a do or die match against Benin next week. So my focus now is on the match against Benin.”

CAR coach Loungoundji Herve Eric on his part said that we defended our position very well. “Minor defending error and lack of concentration forced us to concede defeat.

Our opponents played well and their short passing game prevailed,” he told Cafonline.com at the end of the competition. He added that it is possible to bounce back in this World Cup qualifier in the remaining four matches.

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