The Ethiopian national team coach Gebremedhin Haile has dropped 5 players from the provisional squad that will face Lesotho in Maseru this Sunday.
Notable absentee is Kidus Giorgis’s striker Salahdin Said, who was pulled out of the squad due to a hamstring injury. Salahdin got injured while playing for the Walias in a buildup game against Premier League outfit Ethiopia Nigd Bank. Samson Assefa, Addis Tesaye, Ephrem Wondesen and Mulualem Mesfin will play no part in the Lesotho clash as they left squad after the interim manager trimmed the squad. Seyoum Tesfaye had a passport issue that could not been sort out on time. Hawassa Ketema’s Desta Yohannis replaced Seyoum. Desta, who is on his debut call for the senior national side, has been in a good form for the two times Ethiopia Premier League champions Hawassa this season.
In a presser held at the Intercontinental Addis, Gebremedhin stated his charges had a good preparation for the tie. “The Preparation had been good. Apart from the player who came from abroad and that of Kidus Giorgis’s players, all the squad reported on time to prepare,” said Gebremedhin. He further noted the Walias have a slim chance of progressing to the biennial continental tourney as the best second placed team.
“Other nations who are currently runner-ups in their respective groups have a better point tally than us. Our only hope is to win the remaining ties and wait for the other groups’ results.”
Gebremedhin has promised to deploy an attacking style of play. The Walias played a buildup game against Nigd Bank on Tuesday morning as they came out 3-0 winners’ courtesy goals from Tafese Tesfaye and Dawit Fikadu. Ethiopia is second in Group J with five points, five shy of leaders Algeria. Seychelles entertains Algeria in the other group game on Thursday. A draw against Seychelles in Victoria is enough for ‘Les Fennecs’ to insure a safe passage to the Gabon 2017 African Cup of Nations. Walias departed to Maseru via South Africa on the morning. Coach Gebremedhin gave the captaincy role to center forward Getaneh Kebede, who piles his trade in South Arica, for the Saturday tie.
Jemal Tassew (Mekelakeya), Abel Mamo (Mugher Ciminto)
Asechalew Tamene (Kidus Giorgis), Abdulkerim Mohammed, Ahmed Reshid (Ethipia Bunna), Anteneh Tesfaye (Sidama Bunna), Yared Bayeh (Dashen Bira), Desta Yohannis (Hawassa Ketema)
Shemeles Bekele (Petrojet/Egypt), Ephrem Ashamo (Ethiopia Nigd Bank), Asrat Megerssa (Dashen Bira), Tadele Mengesha (ArbaMinch Ketema), Shemkit Gugesa (Dedebit), Mentesenot Adane (Kidus Giorgis), Gatoch Panom (Ethiopia Bunna), Elias Mamo (Ethiopia Bunna)
Getaneh Kebede (University of Pretoria/South Africa), Tafese Tesfaye (Adama Ketema), Dawit Fikadu (Dedebit)