Ethiopia win battle of the minnows
Ethiopia defeated Niger 1-0 at the weekend in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match between countries considered title outsiders.
Getaneh Kebede, the leading domestic league scorer with nine goals before a mid-season break, scored the winner on 38 minutes at a packed National Stadium in Addis Ababa.
Both sides lacked several stars, notably strikers Saladin Said of Ethiopia and Moussa Maazou of Niger, as they play abroad and need only be freed by their clubs two weeks before the January 19 Africa Cup kick-off in South Africa.
Ethiopia, back at the African football showpiece after a 31-year absence following two away-goal qualifying victories, are in Group C with defending champions Zambia, twice title holders Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
Niger face Ghana, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Group B and hope to improve on their maiden Cup of Nations appearance this year in which they lost all three mini-league games.
Ethiopia can expect tougher opposition on January 7 when they face 2004 champions Tunisia in the Qatari capital Doha, two days after Niger host fellow qualifiers Togo in Niamey. Read more