Afcon 2017 Preview: Ethiopia Walia Ibex in ding dong battle with Lesotho’s Likuena

Ethiopia Walia Ibex have a date with Lesotho in a game that would mark a fresh start for new coach Yohannes Sahle a battle that has been taken to the Bahirdar where 100,000 fans are expected to cheer Walia on Sunday at 4pm local time live on EBC.

Much is expected from striking partners Getaneh Kebede (left) and team captain Salhadin Said
Much is expected from striking partners Getaneh Kebede (left) and team captain Salhadin Said

Ethiopia’s name is etched deeply in the CAF history books after they were crowned champions in 1962, and after a 31 year long wait they qualified for the 2013 Afcon hosted by South Africa but their campaign ended in the first round amid some quality performance .

Yohannes Sahle charges fell 0-1 to Zambia Chipolopolo in an International friendly last weekend but the coach was impressed by the performance of his new players that he has blended well with veteran players.

Ethiopia Walia Ibex coach Yohannes Sahle has his work cut out after replacing Portuguese Mariano Barreto and will be hoping for a fresh start against the tricky Likuena as he eyes a spot in Gabon 2017.

Ethiopia being in a tough Group J , which also has tough sides such as Algeria and Seychelles have no option but to begin their campaign in a winning note with Salhadin Said and Getaneh Kebede partnership expected to flourish just like it sparkled in 2013 and World Cup 2014 play offs.

Lesotho coach Seephephe Matete however fired a warning salvo to Ethiopia Walia Ibex not to underrate them or else the Likuena’s will sting  them .

Lesotho were in fine form in the 2015 Afcon qualifiers  they knocked out star studded Harambee Stars of Kenya led by Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama a loss that led to the sacking of coach Adel Amrouche they beathink Kenya 1-0 home and drew against them 1-1 in Nairobi.

Lesotho also drubbed Liberia 2-0 but were later themselves eliminated.However Matete believes he has a squad which can deliver on Sunday.

“We know it will not be an easy game playing with Ethiopia who are a very good side however we should not be underrated or else we will suprise them”Matete told

Lesotho have never qualified for Afcon but are determined to break the jinx despite recent political disturbances in the country.

Coach Seephephe Matete’s charges will hope to get a positive result away to the Walias, relying on players such as Ts’oanelo Koetle and left back Nketsi Rankhasa and Bushy Moletsane the player expected to provide the flair with his swift runs and composure an aspect that has really helped Likuena.

Ethiopia Probable Line Up vs Lesotho:


Keeper: Tarik Getnet

Defenders: Zekarias Tuji, Aschalew Tameme, Salhadin Bargecho, Siyoum Tesfaye

Midfielders: Behailu Assefa, Gatoch Panom, Firew Solomon and Shimelis Bekele

Strikers:Salhadin Said and Getaneh Kebede 

Lesotho squad:

Goalkeepers: Mohau Kuenane, Kananelo Makhooane.

Defenders: Nkau Lerotholi, Thapelo Mokhehle, Jerry Kamele, Thabiso Mohapi, Nkesi Rankhasa, Shetsane Ramoseeka.

Midfielders: Bokang Mothoana, Mabuti Potloane, Bushy Moletsane, Tšoanelo Koetle, Motlalepula Mofolo, Teboho Lekhooa, Hlompho Kalake, Bushy Moletsane, Tumelo Khutlang, and Jane Thabantšo.

Strikers: Thapelo Tale, Thabiso Brown, Nkoto Masoabi and Litšepe Marabe.