Sudan held Ethiopia to a stalemate in Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier tie played out in Hawassa International Stadium. Saifeldin Maki Bakhit’s opener was cancelled out by Abadulrhaman Mubarak as the Waliyas struggled in home soil.
Ethiopia started off the duel on a bright note as they try to possess the ball and penetrate a solid Sudanese defense. Nonetheless, the visitors kept the homers at bay for the majority of the half. Getaneh Kebede’s strike from a tight angle was denied by veteran goalie Akram El-Hadi Saleim in the 18th minute after Sudan’s defender Abdelrahman Esihag mistakenly lost possession on his own half. The visitors had few chances in the first interval but all off their efforts were off target. In the 34th minute Akram called to the rescue again as he denied Getaneh from scoring a free kick from 25 meters out
The second half saw a very dreadful Ethiopian side and a motivated Sudanese national team. Ethiopia coach brought on Menetesenote Adane and Biruk Kalbore in place of Abdulkerim Mohammed and Tafese Solomon. The substitutions came very costly for the Waliyas as the team failed to gain more possession in the middle of the park. Maki missed out on a glorious chance from a one on one situation with Ethiopia custodian Jemal Tassew 6 minutes following the resumption. In the 57th minute Jemal pulled off a brilliant save from Abuaagla Abdalla goal bound volley.
Jemal, who has been busy of the two keepers in the second interval, yet again parried away Maki’s header. Sudan took a profoundly deserved lead in the 76th minute when Maki fired past Jemal. With a goal down, Ethiopian players were looking a bit shaky whilst their opponents grew in confidence. In the 83rd minute El-Samani El-Sawi’s header was saved by Jemal before Walieldin Khidir Daiyeen’s effort rattled the wood work.
Abdelrahman then beats the offside trap to put the Wailyas on level terms when he chipped it over the helpless Akram six minutes before time to score his first ever international goal in the national team colors.
The result leaves Ethiopia in limbo as Sudan takes advantage for the second leg which is slated for next Saturday.