The Sixth edition of Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) first-round qualifiers return leg fixtures were held across the continent, the Ethiopian national team and Djibouti counterpart played a 7 goal thriller at the Dire Dawa national teaming where the Walia’s were victories 4-3 (5-3 agg.) to book their spot in the second round qualifiers against Rwanda.
The match was held behind closed doors following the commissioner’s report about the current status of the stadium, the Diredawa stadium is currently under renovation which would see an increase in its capacity.
The Ethiopian national team suffered a huge blow day prior to match which saw the skipper Aschalew Tamene being ruled out of the clash. there were a total of three changes made from the first leg encounter where the Walias were victorious courtesy to Aschalew Tamenen’s successful spot-kick, with the captain Aschalew, Mulalem Mesfin and Fekadu Alemu making ways for Desta Demu, Surafel Dangachew and Mujib Qassim.
The Visitors were dominant in the first 45 minutes, but Walias were able to open the score sheet with the Ethiopian premier league 2018/19 top scorer Amanuel G/Michael slotting home from close range to give his side the lead, but Djibouti was able to equalize in the 40th minute through Yossouf Abdi Ahmed. In the closing minutes of the first half, Walias were once again ahead through Yared bayeh’s wonderful header.
After the restart in the 47th-minute Ethiopian national team extended its lead through Addis Gidey, this was Addis Gidey’s first-ever goal for his nation. The Walias were expected to perform well in the second half after scoring early in the second half but that wasn’t the story. On the contrary, the Djibouti national team showed great determination to turn things around, their effort was rewarded as they scored two goals in space of 6 minutes first up in the 52 minutes through Fouad Mohamed and then in the 58th minutes through Mahdi Mahabeh.
The Visitors also missed a great chance as Mahdi Mahabeh missed a howler minutes after they equalized. In the remaining minutes, Abraham Mebratu’s side opted for clueless long balls and a very defensive approach. In the 88th minute, Soccer Ethiopia’s Ethiopian premier league best young player of the season Mesfin Taffese who came on in place of Addis Gidey in the 61st minute scored to hand his side a slender 4-3 win on home soil.
Ethiopia will play with Amavubi (Rwanda national team) in the second round of qualifiers, the first leg is set for September 20-22 and the return leg will be between October 18-20. The two sides also meet in the second round of the 2018 CHAN qualifiers as Rwanda progressed to the tournament at the expense of Ethiopia with 3-2 being the Aggregate scoreline.