Beautiful black lions blazed out of Afcon 2013, Africans are mesmerized!
2013, Africans are mesmerized!
(By Getahune Bekele, Rustenburg-South Africa)
ETHIOPIA 0 – 2 NIGERIA
My man of the match—Minyahil Teshome
My player of the tournament— Abebaw Butako
My most promising player— Fuad Ibrahim
“Look out for this young Ethiopian team in the near future, they will surprise the world.”
Niel Tovey, South African football legend
“The black lions must be proud of themselves. With 8 second choice players they gave Nigerians a run for their money.”
Sunday Olisey, former Nigerian football great
We Ethiopians usually do not magnify or celebrate mediocrity but this new generation of players must be encouraged and praised for their effort.
Today 29 January 2013, sheer wizardry and incomparable soccer art was on display for the last time at Royal Bafokeng sport palace as the beautiful lions once again captured hearts and minds of football lovers around the globe.
If it wasn’t for erratic defending of 19 year old Alula Girma and another goal keeping calamity by Sisay Bancha, the result would have been much different.
Abebaw Butako marked Chelsea winger Victor Moses out of the game for 80 minutes while the born again Addis Hinsa out shone and out thought Obi Mikel in the congested midfield area. Center back Biadgelgn Elias surprised everyone by easily thwarting the bulldozing tactic of powerful Nigerian forward, Emenike.
The black lions didn’t concede from open play this time.
On the 63rd minute of the thrilling battle, the entire stadium rose in ecstasy when the nifty ball juggler Minyahil Teshome embarrassed Nigerian defender Fegor Ekune by putting the ball between his legs. In terms of entertainment both sets of fans got their money’s worth.
Even going forward the lions were menacing; with Saladin Said, Getaneh Kebede and Fuad Ibrahim waltzing through the Nigerian defense and bombarding the goal mouth.
However, for the Ethiopians the goal keeping position need urgent fix as preparation for Brazil 2014 world cup continues.
From the late Getachew Dula down to the likes of Afework Tenagashaw, Lemma Kibret, Tekabe Zewde and Belete Wodajo; different Ethiopian national teams had produced world class goal keepers but am not sure if we have one reliable goal minder in the current team.
Losing two goal keepers to red card in just 3 matches is madness.
When the referee blew the final whistle in Rustenburg there was no despair among black lion’s fans. There were no tears but joy and pride.
We were happy to see fringe players such as Dawit Estifanos, yusuf Saleh and Oumed ukuri playing like seasoned professionals against the mighty Super Eagles. The future looks promising.
For the remaining Afcon matches, the mesmerized Africa is going to miss the flamboyant black lion’s supporters and their ball playing team.
As for Coach Sewnet Bishaw it is a case of so close yet so far.