In the Total CAF Confederations Cup preliminary round return leg Ethiopian flag bearers Wolaitta Dicha tackles Zanzibar outfit Zimamoto on Wednesday, February 21 in Hawassa, some 275 kilo meters away from the capital Addis Ababa. International football game returns to Hawassa after October 2017 as the Sodo based side set to make history by qualifying to the first round on their first attempt.
Dicha and Zimamoto played out a one all draw 10 days ago in Zanzibar City. The result gives Wolaitta Dicha a slight advantage in the second leg. Dicha’s coach Zeneber Fisseha believes his charges are well acquainted with Zimamoto’s style of play from the first leg. “Since we played an away game, we managed to see how Zimamoto fare. We have outlined their strength and weak links and worked on them. We are well prepared to get a positive result and performance in front of our home crowd.”
Wolaitta Dicha are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions since coach Zenebe took over the helm in December last year. Coach Zenebe further noted that Wolaitta Dicha will be blazing at all front to knock Zimamoto out of the Confederations Cup. “We tried to tell our boys to focus in every detail of the game. We are witnessing progress on our performance. I do hope our boys will replicate what they have been showing us in the training sessions. It is a crucial game and we have 90 minutes to play. Our plan is only to win the game and progress to the next stage. There is absolutely nothing else on our mind; we want to win the duel. We only deploy offensive style of play to achieve our aim.”
Zimamoto, who are in their maiden Confederations Cup outing, coach Abdulghany Msoma told Soccer Ethiopia that Wolaitta Dicha were poor in the previous game likewise expects a difficult encounter. “In the first leg we were the better side. We have missed almost four clear chances. In the second half they purposely played defensive football. They didn’t attack us at all. They attempted on goal only ones. That was their tactic. I know they could have played more offensive much more, because they are good. Technically their players are good. We hope we will have a tough return leg. We are here to defend ourselves. Wolaitta Dicha is above us on the away goal they struck in Zanzibar. So we have to fight and score. That’s our game plan.”
Coach Msoma is not new to Ethiopia and its football. The experienced football coach and the current Zanzibar Football Federation technical director has led the Zanzibar Heroes to a shocking 3-1 victory over Ethiopia in CECAFA Cup during his tenure with the national side. Msoma played crucial role in Zanzibar’s astounding run in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup which was hosted in Kenya. In recent years clubs from Zanzibar find it hard to progress to the first round and Msoma targets qualifications at the expense of Wolaitta Dicha. “Our target is to qualify. But we know it will be a little bit hard because we spurred our chances at home. It is simple as that, we should have made count of the chances we had in Zanzibar. Wolaitta Dicha were weak in Zanzibra. It’s hot where we came from and Dicha struggled back there. We expect them here now to finish us off. We are prepared for that though.”
The Hawassa International Stadium pitch is in a desperate need of maintenance. Coach Msoma abstained himself from lamenting on the playing surface but alluded the fact that it is not in a good condition. It is reported that the field will be plotted for maintenance purpose after the duel.
The game kicks off at 4:00 in the afternoon. The match referees are all from Djibouti whereas a Seychellois match commissioner is assigned by CAF for the tie.