Ethiopia coach Ashenafi Bekele has named a 22-man squad to face Ghana in a Group F Day One clash on Sunday in Kumasi.
Bekele has called-up predominantly home-based players with only two foreign-based players, Shemelese Bekele and Oumed Okuri. Okuri, who plies his trade for Cairo-based El-Entag El-Harby had a superb season in Egypt after bagging 11 goals in all competition.
Saint George trio Salahdin Said, Asechalew Tamene and Salahdin Bargicho have also managed to get included in the squad.
Ethiopia Premier League top goal scorer Getaneh Kebede, midfielder Gatoch Panom and veteran goalie Jemal Tassew retain their places in Bekele’s squad. Abdulrhaman Mubarak and Gadisa Mebrate have been handed their debut call ups.
Goalkeeper Tekelemariam Shanko, striker Ame Mohammed, winger Ephrem Ashamo and defenders Ahmed Reshide and Awet Gebremikael failed to make the travelling party to Ghana.
The Walia Antelopes played out one test match last Saturday against Uganda, which ended barren.
Bekele told CAFOnline.com prior to the team’s departure to Kumasi in the early hours of Thursday said that his charges were acquainted with Ghana and their style of play.
“As we all know Ghana is one of the best teams in Africa and the world too. The game will be very tough for us. Keeping that in mind, we have seen some video footage of the Ghana team and we are ready to get a point in Kumasi,” Bekele said.
He also noted the friendly game against Uganda has helped them prepare for the Ethiopia clash.
“We may not fully know our weaknesses and strengths but we managed to get some inputs,” said Bekele.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone will face Kenya in the other Group F clash on Saturday in Freetown.
Goalkeepers: Abel Mamo (Defense Force), Jemal Tassew (Jimma Aba Coffee), Lealem Birhanu (Sidama Coffee)
Defenders: Abdulkerim Mohammed (Ethiopian Coffee), Asechalew Tamene, Salahdin Bargicho (Saint George), Addis Tesfaye (Defense Force), Tesfaye Bekele, Mujib Kassim (Both Adama City), Seyoum Tesfaye (Dedebit), Aneteneh Tesfaye (Sidama Coffee)
Midfielders: Shemelese Bekele (Petrojet, Egypt), Biruk Kalbore (Adama City), Shemekit Gugesa (Dedebit), Gatoch Panom (Ethiopian Coffee), Mulualem Mesfin (Sidama Coffee), Gadisa Mebrate (Hawassa City)
Forwards: Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit), Salahdin Said (Saint George), Abdulrhaman Mubarak (Fasil City), Oumed Okuri (El-Entag El-Harby, Egypt), Addis Gidey (Sidama Coffee)
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