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By: Mdadisi Mambo On: 3:56 AM
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  • Ethiopia and Congo out to avoid early exit The omens don’t look good for Ethiopia and Congo going into their clash tomorrow Friday 17th January at Free State Stadium in Mangaung. Having both lost their opening matches; another defeat will mean waving goodbye to a place in the quarter finals. The group C match on could yet be the launch pad for revival for the winner and should either Ghana or Libya win in the first of the Friday double header.

    The permutations going into the match were not lost to both coaches, who told Cafonline.com that one thing certain is that there will be more offensive play than in first game. “It is now a do or die mission and the players are well aware of this” said Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw. His counterpart, Sebastien Migné said he was working on motivating his side to add self-belief to their game, “With a bit more confidence in our ability we can produce positive results. We know that this is an important match against Ethiopia and getting a win will bring us back in contention, so expect to see us attacking more than we did against Ghana” said Migne.

    Coach Bishaw says Congolese are quick and physical side and can play both short passing game and long balls. “They are a good side and we have to play really well to get something out of the game. I have asked Adane Girma who plays in midfield to operate in a supporting role for the two strikers and hopefully this will increase our striking options.” Bishaw would not be drawn into saying whether there will be changes to the team to face Congo preferring instead to how Ethiopia need to settle quickly into their traditional passing game and control possession.

    Meanwhile Congolese mentor Migné remains optimistic and confident while recognizing the quality of the Ethiopian team. “We are well aware that Ethiopia has a great team that just missed to qualify for phase final of the World Cup, and has a commendable tournament here in South Africa during AFCON 2013 finals. They certainly have a little bit more experience than us at this level and like any opponent should be taken seriously. So we need to improve on our finishing but our philosophy is always to produce the beautiful football l think we showed our intention to compete against Ghana and we hope to succeed against Ethiopia on Friday. I still believe we have as strong a chance to qualify out of this group as the other three teams and this is what l want my team to have in their minds “concluded Migne.

    Ethiopia’s Bishaw admitted most people are asking why the goals are not coming, and the answer to that is simply that, the renowned Ethiopian goal-scorers like Getaneh Kabede, Saladin Said and Shimelis Bekele are not eligible and we just have to make do with the strikers produced from our domestic league.” He was however optimistic that Ethiopia will get it right on Friday and carry the day.


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