National team ready to face CAR on Saturday

Ethiopia WaliasThe Ethiopian National Football Team are ready to face the Central African Republic (CAR) side in their 2014 World Cup final preliminary round match set to take place next Saturday in Congo Brazzaville. .

Four of the national team’s professional players, Getaneh Kebede from South Africa, Salahdin Seid from Belgium, Shimeles Bekele from Libya and Asrat Megersa from Israel, returned home and joined the side for their final preparation for the decisive Saturday match.

After finishing goalless with Libya in the international friendly, the Central African Republic (CAR) national team acting head coach Lowngoundji Herve Eric, 37, expressed confidence in his side’s strength to secure a win in this final match though his side’s chance of advancing in to the group of ten is dead.

Ethiopian National Football Team Coach Sewnet Bishaw was upbeat after the precious win over the Rwandan side to get a place in the CHAN African Nations Championship, a tournament organised for locally-based players.

The head coach expects to collect the full three points on Saturday. “It will be a do or die game. Our team produced a powerful performance in Rwanda days after our three points was reduced by the world football governing body for fielding an ineligible player in the match against Botswana. That deduction put South Africa and Botswana into the life line. Now the spirit is high among our boys. I think they will do their best to win over CAR,” the coach said.

The national side dropped an invitation from the African giants, the Black Star of Ghana, for international friendly last month. But the coach argued that most of the players were on vacation and players from St. George had international commitment at the time. “So, we were not ready to accept the request for the friendly matches. Recently we requested Sudan and Burundi for an international friendly but they refused. Despite that our preparation for the Saturday final clash is quite good. I hope we will take the full three points with win. This is a very decisive match,” the coach said.

Having won three, drew one and lost one on forfeiture, Ethiopia are still on top of Group A in their World Cup qualifying campaign. A win over CAR will give them a ticket to advance in to the group of ten.

After beating the South African side here in Addis Ababa, the people had a night long festivities believing that the Ethiopian National Football Team reached into the group of ten on 13 points. But the next day FIFA announced that Ethiopia will be penalized by fielding an ineligible player in their 2-1 win over the Botswana side. That frustrating mistake helped Botswana to collect the full three points with a 3-0 forfeiture win. That decision of FIFA gave one more opportunity for South Africa and Botswana in the qualification series.

If Ethiopia concede defeat Saturday, the winners of the South Africa and Botswana will advance in to the group of ten.

Source: Ethiopian Herald

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