The Ethiopian National Football Team, the Walias, will face Uganda in an international friendly today at Hawasa Stadium. The newly appointed Walias coach, Ashenafi Bekele, has announced a 23-man squad that will play against the Cranes.
The Walias commenced preparations last week ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier matches. The Walias are drawn in Group F alongside four-time African champions Ghana, neighbors Kenya and Sierra Leone. Ashenafi selected 23 players excluding St. George players because of the Horsemen’s African Champions League matches against AS Vita, which is scheduled to be held tomorrow at Addis Ababa Stadium.
Though Egypt-based duo – Shemeles Bekele and Oumed Okuri – have been summoned to the team, the squad is predominantly comprised of home-based players. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Premier League top paid player, Tadele Mengesha, will not join the squad because of injury.
Playing friendly matches will help both sides identify their strengths and weaknesses. “Playing against Uganda will be a very good preparation for our game against Ghana. The Cranes are a top side in African football especially when you see the past two years,” Ashenafi told The Reporter.
Ethiopia will be looking to qualify for the AFCON 2019, which will be held in Cameroon, but they have to finish top of Group F or finish among the top three second best placed teams.
In their first qualifier match, the Walias will travel to Accra to play against Ghana.
Ethiopian National Football Team friendly match full squad
Lealem Birhanu (Sidama Coffee), Abel Mamo (Defense), Jemal Tasew (Jimma Aba Bunna)
Addis Tesfaye, Anteneh Tesfaye (Sidama Coffee), Awot Gebremicheal (Electric), Mujib Kasim, Tesfaye Bekele (Adama City), Abdulkerim Mohammed, Ahmed Reshid (Ethiopia Coffee) and Seyoum Tesfaye ( Dedebit)
Gatoch Panom (Ethiopia Coffee), Mulalem Mesfin (Sidama Coffee), Biruk Kalbore (Adama City), Shimekit Gugasa, Ephrem Ashamo (Dedebit), Gaddisa Mebrate (Hawasa City), Shemele Bekele (Petrojet/Egypt).
Addis Gidey (Sidama Coffee), Abdurahman Mubarek (Fasil City), Ame Mohammed (Jimma Aba Bunna) Oumed Okuri (El Entag El- Harby/Egypt) and Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit)