Ethiopia Gearing up for Africa Cup 2013

Ethiopia is returning to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in thirty years. (Getty Images)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Johannesburg (TADIAS) – Preparations are underway for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, and Ethiopia’s national team (The Walya Antelopes), that qualified for the tournament for the first time since 1982, is also gearing up for the continent’s most prestigious soccer competition, which kicks off on January 19th in Johannesburg.

By all accounts the past year has been very productive for Ethiopia. The website SouthAfrica.info noted, their games included a tie against the host country, which led to the firing of South Africa’s coach Pitso Mosimane “after a string of unconvincing results.”

The Walya Antelopes, popularly nicknamed “The Black Lions,” also advanced past Benin and Sudan on “the away goals rule” after a draw with Benin followed by victory over Sudan, against whom they lost 5-3 in Khartoum and then beat 2-0 in Addis.

The team’s star players are striker Saladin Said, who plays abroad for Wadi Degla in Egypt, and Adane Girma of Ethiopia’s Saint George Club, who was voted the best player in the Ethiopian Premier League in 2011.

Speaking about Saladin his former coach Belgian Walter Meeuws is quoted as saying: ‚ÄúSaid is a very skilful player, technically strong, good speed and a good positioning as striker. He reads very well the game and the last year he became stronger in both power and physical strength.”

But in order for Ethiopia to have a performance worth remembering in South Africa, the team must first survive its challengers in group “C” that include Zambia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

Related:
Ethiopia Line-up for Africa Cup Includes 3 Foreign-based Players (TADIAS)
Three Foreign-based Players Named in Ethiopia Squad (Reuters)
Nations Cup 2013: Ethiopia Name Squad (BBC)
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Ethiopia Aim to Defy the Odds (Aljazeera)
Ethiopia win battle of the minnows (Super Sport)

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