Mekelakeya hosts Cameroon side Yong Sports Academy in Total CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round tie in Addis Ababa Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It is the Army side’s third stint in four years in the second biggest clubs tourney of the continent. Mekelakeya couldn’t get past from the preliminaries in the past tow occasions.
Mekelakeya were ousted by Kenyan outfit AFC Leopards (4-1 on aggregate) and Egyptian side Misr El Makassa (6-1 on aggregate) in their previous outings. Nonetheless winger Samuel Taye believes the side has learnt from past mistakes as they work to rectify their slipups. “We should learn from past experiences. We must look back where our faults lay when we were knocked out in the previous ties. I reckon we should adjust the slipups and win our home game against the Cameroon side,” said Samuel.
Mekelakeya has been struggling in the Ethiopian premier league following a streak of impressive results in December making them the most consistent side. January has not been good for the Army side though as they elapsed majority of their games in stalemate. Team coach Belete GebreKidane stated the recent poor form of the club is not due to inconsistency rather his forwards inability to find the back of the net. “We don’t have problems with regard to consistency rather our finishing proficiency is the one that is letting us down.”
Coach Belete will have to settle for summer arrival Yetesha Gizaw upfront. Baye Gezaghen is back after being sidelined for the past 7 months. The Mekelakeya trainer commented he won’t be risking striking duo Baye and Minyelu Wendimu for the YOSA duel. Coach Belete clarified Baye yet to gain match fitness while Minyelu is suffering from a knee injury. The inform Ethiopian international Abel Mamo is expected to start between the posts.
Yong Sports Academy has touchdown in Addis Ababa on Friday. They had a test of the Addis Ababa Stadium field on Saturday afternoon. YOSA, established in 2004, managed to finish runner-ups in Cameroon Elite One league. The Bamenda outfit has won their last three league games. The club has participated in the 2014 edition of the Confederations Cup.
The winner of Mekelakeya and YOSA will be playing Tunisian giants CS Sfaxien in the first round.