Ethiopia beat Lesotho 2-1 to keep Nations Cup hopes alive

Getaneh Kebede scored twice to help Ethiopia defeat Lesotho and keep their slim chance of qualifying for the 2017 African Cup of Nations alive.

The Walias started the game on a high with Shimekit Gugsa testing Lesotho keeper Jousse with a shot from range as early as the opening minute.

Getaneh Kebede made a string of unsuccessful attempts on goal in the first 30 minutes of the game, but Jousse was always on guard to deny him with some brilliant goal keeping. It was Dawit Fekadu, however, who wasted the most regretful of opportunities failing to beat the keeper from the 6 yard box after his earlier effort hit the post.

Getaneh Kebede’s persistence was a thorn in Lesotho’s flesh, and the striker eventually broke the deadlock at the stroke of half time with a fantastic curling effort from the edge of the box, sending the handful of Ethiopian fans in the stands into a frenzy.

A substitution in midfield was proving to be fruitful for Lesotho in the second half as they were able to control the ball better and make a few shots on goal from range, but it was the Walias who found the back of the net yet again in the 53rd minute. Getaneh Kebede capitalized on a defensive error and produced a lovely lob over the on rushing keeper to double Ethiopia’s lead. It was the striker’s 7th goal in his last 5 games for the National team.

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Jane Thaba-Ntso sparked Lesotho’s beliefs in the 56th minute reducing the deficit with a venomous volley from inside the box, but the closest they came to scoring again was Seturumane’s shot in the 82nd minute which was fumbled by keeper Abel Mamo almost landing in the net. Coach Gebremedhin introduced defensive minded duo Asrat Megersa and Mintesinot Adane in the later parts of the second half, and the Walias were able to see out the result.

The result gives Gebremedhin Haile, the newly appointed interim coach of the National team, a winning debut, and the former Kidus Giorgis and National team striker is hoping that results in other qualifier groups favor Ethiopia’s chances of making it the 2017 AFCON as one of the best group runner-ups.

Ethiopia will host Seychelles in September as the qualifiers come to an end.

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