Confederations Cup| Wolaitta Dicha’s Continental Debut Ends in Stalemate

Ethiopian side Wolaitta Dicha played out a one all draw against Zimamoto of Zanzibar in CAF Total Confederations Cup preliminary round first leg tie at Amaan Stadium on Sunday, February 11.

Hakim Khamis Ali’s opener was cancelled out by Arafat Djako as Wolaitta Dicha shared spoils away from home in their maiden Confederations Cup outing.

Dicha coach Zenebe Fisseha opted to deploy a five man midfield while making the former Anzhi Makhachkala forward Djako the lone striker. Wondwosen Geremew as expected got the nod behind the posts while Teklu Tafese, Mubarak Shikuri, Zelalem Mulatu and former Ethiopian international Eshetu Mena made the defense.

The Bees of Tona, as the Wolaitta Dicha are nicknamed, were superior in ball possession but the home side looked dangerous in making attempts on goal. Hakim Khamis Ali gave Zimamoto the lead in the 31st minute when he headed home from close range. Wolaitta Dicha pushed to get a leveler after going down 1-0 at the half hour mark and were successful in finding a crucial away goal. Togolese striker Djako restored parity for the visitors at stroke of half time. Dagim Bekele’s strike was well saved by Zimamoto custodian Nassor Mrisho Salim but Djako found the back of the net with the rebound.

After the resumption fewer attempts on goal were registered as Wolaitta Dicha opted to protect the draw. Zimamoto on the other hand come the closest to take the lead the back through some efforts from a direct free kicks. Nonetheless, the away side would be content with the draw ahead of the second leg in Hawassa in one week time.

Wolaitta Dicha made history when they faced Zimamoto earlier to become the first non-Addis Ababa side to take part in continental club competition in a decade time, the last being Harar Beer. Ten seasons ago Harar Beer took part in CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round and lost on penalties to Rwandan side Rayon Sports.

Wolaitta Dicha will host Zimamoto next week at the Hawassa International Stadium.

Photo courtesy of journalist Biniyam Simon

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