The Ethiopian U-17 team tackles the Egyptian U-17 side on Sunday at Dire Dawa Stadium on Sunday August 21 for the African U-17 Nations Cup qualifier second leg tie.
The Red Foxes have pulled of a huge upset in the ongoing qualifying round as they returned home conquering Egypt 3-1 fortnights ago in Cairo.
Ethiopia coach Atnafu Alemu revealed to Soccer Ethiopia that his charges are in a great shape ahead of the anticipated game.
“The players are in pretty good shape likewise their spirit is second to none. We have analyzed what were our weak links from the first leg and hopefully think we will beat them this Sunday. We are much familiarized with their approach since they will be looking to register a win here. It is their last hope so I expect them to be more offensive. However, that doesn’t mean we will be defending rather expect us to be more offensive,” claimed Atnafu.
Egypt coach Yasser Mohammedin on his behalf alluded that his side look forward to a better result comes the two nations meets. “We have prepared on the best possible way after the first leg defeat. We had a residential camp at Cairo and we had a great training. Hopefully, we will get a better result,” stated Mohammedin.
Coach Mohammedin has also noted the fact that Egypt could have gotten a different score line two weeks ago, if it were not for the missed opportunities. “In the first leg we have missed 6 or 7 clear goal scoring chances. In the first five minutes alone we could have gone 3-0 up. I think we should be more efficient in our attacking proficiency.”
Egypt U-17 team leader Tahaa Seid expressed his discomfort on the Dire Dawa stadium turf. “I am sorry to say it but the pitch is in a very bad shape. As you have seen we have played the first leg in Petro Sport Stadium, which is an international stadium. The pitch is not good at all. However, our players will try to get a better result.”
Ethiopia failed to qualify for any major U-17 tournament since finishing 4th in the 1997 Nations Cup which was hosted in South African nation of Botswana. The Red Foxes missed out on the last two editions after losing to Tunisia 5-3 on aggregate and 3-0 to Gabon in the qualifying round.