Sodo based side Wolaitta Dicha beat title favorite Mekelakeya 4-2 on penalty shootouts after the regular time ended in one all draw to lift their first ever Ethiopian Cup trophy. Dicha has become the second Sodo club to win the Ethiopian Cup, the first being Wolaitta Tusa in 1997. The record Ethiopian Cup champions Mekelakeya found it very hard to penetrate a dominant Wolaitta Dicha side.
Dicha stared off the duel on a bright note as they dominated the early exchange of the tie. The muddy Addis Ababa Stadium field albeit made life harder for both clubs. But still Dicha managed to dominate the proceedings for the majority of the interval. Left back Anagew Badege headed wide from Amanuel Teshome’s corner in the 13th minute. Nonetheless, it was the army side that broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when Dicha’s center back Mubarak Shekuri under pressure with Mekalakeya’s forward Samuel Saliso wrongly struck on his net to put the army side ahead. With a goal down, Dicha pushed forward in search of a leveler. Alazar Fasika was unlucky to see his goal bound shot superbly parried away by Mekelakeya custodian Yidnekachew Kidane a minute from the break.
Following the resumption Dicha carried on their pressure and were awarded a penalty after Yidnekachew committed a foul on Anagawe in the 53rd minute. Team captain Alazar made no mistake as he pulled his side on level terms by sending Yidnekachew the wrong way. Right back Fetudin Jemal set up Alazar and Bezabeh Meleyo in two different occasions but the strikers failed to convert two glorious opportunities as their efforts sailed wide. In last 15 minutes of the duel Mekelakeya looked the better side. Second half substitute Tedros Tafesse’s long range shot rattled the cross bar before goalie Wendsen Ashenafi pulled off a good save from Baye Gezaghen’s strike from distance in the 76th minute.
The score tied up at 1-1 both sides went to penalty shootouts. Former Sidama Bunna and Wolaitta Dicha defender Awol Abdela and goalie Yidnekachew spurred their spot kicks while Yidnekachew manage to save Anagew’s penalty. Second half substitute Wendsen Geremew, who happened to be the goalkeeper when Ethiopia Bunna crowned champions of Ethiopia in 2011, brilliantly struck his spot kick as Dicha became champions for the first time.
Wolaitta Dicha are established 8 years ago in 2009. Under coach Mesay Teferi, a former footballer who had played in the Ethiopian Premier League, got multiple promotion and gained league status in 2013. The club is financed by the Wolaitta Development Association likewise they are well-known for running the club under a limited budget unlike many Ethiopian clubs who finds its easy to spend millions every season in recent years. Wolaitta Dicha will be representing Ethiopia in the 2018 Total CAF Confederations Cup.