2013 Cup of Nations Preview: Ethiopia
Ethiopia are even exceeding expectations on the tricky road to Brazil. The Walya Antelopes have amassed four out of a possible six points by drawing against Bafana Bafana and beating an in-form Central African Republic. Central to their success is a resolute spine. It starts at the foot of the formation with their centre-back, and captain, Degu Debebe. Debebe stands at a short 1.83m, but is technically accomplished, which permits him licence on the ball. Shielding Debebe is Addis Hintsa. We’re massive fans of his seemingly languid stride, as he makes use of both feet to spray long and short passes around the pitch. The cervical vertebra of the Ethiopian spine consists of the Said-Girma partnership. The duo have tag-teamed to score five of Ethiopia’s last seven goals, and are a guaranteed handful for opposition centre-halves.
Coach: Sewnat Bishaw
Nothing but respect will be the sentiment towards coach Sewnat Bishaw irrespective of how Ethiopia fare in South Africa. Bishaw had shattered the curse which plagued Africa’s second-highest populated country for more than 30 years. The experienced coach is enjoying his second spell at the helm and he’ll be looking to extract the maximum from his squad come the 21st.
Key Man: Saladin Said
Ethiopia’s target man is one of the few who makes his living in a foreign league, and it shows. Said, who earns his wage at Wadi Degla (Egypt), will be one of the better unknown players featured in the Cup of Nations. Look for him to use his pace and poacher’s instinct as he gets behind strikers and knocks a few in.
One to Watch: Degu Debebe
‘Degy’ – as his shirt will carry in the Cup of Nations, is definitely an eye-catcher. Debebe isn’t the tallest or strongest defender, but his years of experience compensate. The skipper does need to be wary of his positioning, but he is particularly strong in the tackle, and enjoys possession when on the ball. Tanzanian striker, Mbwana Samatta, who promised goals in a friendly encounter vs Ethiopia, said of Debebe: ‘There was a defender like John Terry. So tough’. Make of that what you will.
SFG thank you for this analysis, but I think Ethiopia will make it out of the group stage. I think we are capable of beating Zambia after seeing their dismal performance at 3 friendlies. I know our boys lack experience unlike many of our African brothers but they have been very promising and they dont risk much like the Nigeria’s, Ghana’s Ivory Coasts and so on. 🙂 Keep up the good work SFG!
Thank you for your respectful comment!
I do think Ethiopia are capable of producing a few upsets. I’m not sure it’d be vocationally safe for me to officially claim they’ll usurp the experience of Zambia and Nigeria. One strength (or weakness) Ethiopia possesses is that 20 of their players play in the domestic league. That could equip them with chemistry, or could be a measure of how low the level is.
Anyways, we’re all rooting for the Walyas here- I’d gladly be proved wrong if it meant Zambia or Nigeria were knocked out at the expense of Ethiopia.
Good article, i’d like to point out though that Elias is a centre back and that Butako plays as left back!
Yes, I realized I had mixed them up after publishing. My apologies.
No worries it’s a good article. Another player to watch out for is Alula Girma who plays right back, he could make some noise this tournament.
Considering the controversy suspension and issues the EFA have faced in the past couple years this appearance is huge. But I expect them to exceed expectations or dissapoint thoroughly
I have a feelng Ethiopia will upset Nigeria….
At Addis Rumble we celebrate Ethiopia’s return to Africa’s finest football forum with a tour down memory lane through the photo archives. http://addisrumble.com/?p=2618