Sisay Bancha needs to step up for Ethiopia

Sisay BanchaFrankly speaking to me Sisay Bancha is an enigma. One day he is the anchor of his defense, up there with any Goalkeeper in Africa, and the next he plays like an unpredictable juvenile leaving his line early when he should not, and causing all types of problems for his team.

What is not in doubt is his talent.

For Ethiopia to beat Nigeria they will need for him to play bigger that his 5 11 frame and make the right judgment calls from beginning to the end of the game. Despite being voted the best Goalkeeper in Ethiopia as far back as 2008, he has been slow making his mark for Walya Antelopes and laying claim to that impressive honor.

This is primarily due to two reasons.

First is the on again, off again form of his major competitor Zerihun Tadele Derese who plays for Saint George and secondly is his exuberance that often leads to poor decision making leaving coach Sewnet Bishaw often scratching his head in despair. Case and point is his Red card against Nigeria at the Afcon 2013 when he skewered Victor Moses as show below

Despite this he will be the obvious choice for Ethiopia because Tadele has fared no better against the Eagles. The last and only time he faced them he let in four unanswered goals in Abuja and that maybe too much to recover from psychologically.

At 24 Bancha has time to develop into the ultimate net minder that the East Africans can rely on for the future. However Ethiopia cannot afford to wait, and need him to grow up quickly and play big now – not tomorrow.

Sisay and Moses

He seems to have done just that. Against both Central and South Africa he refused to blink or be goaded into doing anything improper. Even while playing behind he remained cool calm and collected and shored up his defense.

Coach Bishaw will be counting on Bancha repaying him for his patience and steadfast tutorage and frustrating that African champion by having the biggest game of his life come October the 13th. We all know he can do it. It just depend which Bancha shows up.



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