Ethiopia will take on Kenya in the first leg qualifier of the fourth African Championship (Chan), on Sunday at Bahir Dar International Stadium, 700-kilometres from the north of the capital, Addis Ababa.
This will be the second continental big meets to take place at the Bahir Dar venue in less than a fortnight. Last Sunday, the Walias beat Lesotho 2-1 in the first leg of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
In the match against Kenya for a competition organised for home-based players, internationals such as Saladin Said, Shimeles Bekele, Oumed Ukuri and Getahun Kebede are not available for selection.
Captain Behailu Assefa, popularly known as Tussa has expressed confidence ahead of the Sunday match. He opined that the absence of Saladin, Uomed and Shimeles won’tt negatively affect his side.
“This is a competition organised for players who are home-based. We were successful in qualifing for the third Chan final that was held in South Africa. We are hopeful to be in the final for the second time in a row,” Tussa said.
Ethiopian Head Coach, Yohanes Sahile added that the victory over the neighboring side will not be easy.
“We know the Kenyans. The encounter against Kenya has always been tough. We expect a win but by the skin of our teeth,” adding that victory will boost their chances towards qualification for Rwanda.
The visiting Harambee Stars are expected to arrive in Addis Ababa on Friday and will depart for Bahir Dar later in the day.
Meanwhile, the EFF has disclosed that a record One Million Birr (about 50, 000 USD) was realised at the gate during last Sunday’s Afcon qualifer between Ethiopia and Lesotho, a record in the Federation’s 73-year history.
The federation expects a huge crowd to attend the Sunday qualifier between Ethiopia and Kenya.