90 minutes to go in Africa

EthiopianFans

For the ten countries remaining in Africa’s FIFA World Cupâ„¢ qualifying campaign, the journey will come to an end this week with five sides holding tickets to Brazil 2014. Each of the five ties features a side that reached South Africa 2010, so depending on the results from the second leg of the home-and-away play-offs, the continent might have a repeat of the qualifiers from four years ago.

Although Ethiopian coach Sewnet Bishew is cautiously optimistic that his team can turn around a 2-1 first-leg home defeat against African champions Nigeria on Saturday in Calabar, anything but a Nigerian victory would be a major surprise. The coach welcomes back South African-based striker Getaneh Kebede, who has recovered from a knee injury that forced him out of the first leg. “[Getaneh's] presence will be an added advantage for my attacking options,” the coach said. Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi, meanwhile, has once again opted for his strategy of complimenting international stars with locally-based players, and he has also called up American-born Toronto FC striker Bright Dike as a late replacement for Uche Nwofor. Read more

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