A disappointing result for the Ethiopian national team as they suffered a slender 1-0 loss at home against Rwanda in the first leg of the second round CHAN qualifiers.
In the first-ever competitive national team fixture held at the Tigray international stadium, Ethiopia was dominant in the first 15 minutes but failed to create clear cut goal scoring chances. In the meantime, Amanuel G/Micheal and Fikadu Alemu’s half chances were the first attempts registered.
Also in the first half Kenyan Markneh’s curled effort and Amanuel G/Michael’s attempt from Ahmed Rashid’s cross were the moments that the home side was close to scoring. The Visitors, who were seen dropping deep into their own half in a very pragmatic approach where their offensive spark was merely reliant on Oliver Nyonzima and Jabel Manshamiwi trickery, rarely seen near Ethiopia’s penalty box.
The Ethiopian national team once again showed a good glimpse in their build-up play and enjoyed a better portion of the ball in the middle of the pitch but their passing play as always was lacking progression and penetration towards the opponent’s goal.
Mesfin Tafesse and Haider Sherefa’s effort late in the first half wasn’t enough to beat Rwanda’s goalie for the opener.
The second half saw a better intent from the home side, as so many chances were created but wastefulness was once again a major concern for Abraham Mebrahtu.
Excellent performances from the makeshift right-back Desta Demu and Kenyan Markneh was instrumental for the home side’s improvement in the second half.
Fekadu Alemu and Amanuel G/Micheal attempt’s were the first in the second half, In the open contest in the second half the visitors unlike the first half created good goal scoring chances, Sabimana Eric and Manzi Terry long-range efforts were the ones’ to mention.
Emanuel Imanshimawi wonderful effort and Fotina Ombaringa’s attempt from the set piece were very close to the scoring for the visitors.
Rwanda who was pummeled in the second half, but in the 61st minute Ernest Sugira bicycle kick golazo from an in swinger corner kick give the visitors the breakthrough.
After the restart the “Walias” were in total control of the game but lack of good decision making was in the exhibition.
Desta Demu was very bright in the last 15 minutes as his shot from the edge of the penalty box that rattled the upright and also his headed effort that nearly went wide, followed by big chances
from Haider Sherefa and Mujib Qassim were very close to equalize as the visitors were so tested in quick succession.
The Ethiopia national team failed to score a goal after an immensely spirited second-half effort.
After the desperately waited final whistle was blown the visitors have a huge advantage as the two sides face each other in 27 days time in Kigali for a place in the 2020 CHAN.