Saturday, June 22, 2024
SportWalias woes continue in qualifiers

Walias woes continue in qualifiers

Interim Coaches name 23 players

The Ethiopian national team has been eliminated from qualification for the 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after Egypt defeated Guinea in the qualifiers. Ethiopia was playing in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers to reach the 2024 AFCON scheduled for Ivory Coast but no longer has a chance of advancing.

The Ethiopian team was placed in a group with Egypt, Guinea and Malawi. Egypt has booked their spot to Ivory Coast after defeating Guinea, eliminating the Walias. Even if Ethiopia wins their remaining two matches, they will not qualify.

With two games left to play, the Walias currently sit in fourth place in the group with three points after playing four qualifying matches. Egypt leads the group with 12 points after five games, with Guinea in second place with nine points. Malawi is third with three points.

The national team will face Malawi in the 2024 AFCON qualifying match on June 20, 2023 in Mozambique.

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Newly appointed interim coach Daniel Gebre Maryam has called up 23 players to prepare for the qualifier. Ethiopia has begun training at Adama University of Science and Technology (ASTU) stadium. The Walias will play their home match in Mozambique because of a lack of stadiums in Ethiopia that meet CAF standards.

The Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) parted ways with former head coach Wubetu Abate. Wubetu had led the Walias for the last two years. The Federation appointed its technical director Daniel Gebre Maryam (an instructor) to lead the remaining national team games on an interim basis.

Bahir Dar City football club coach, Degeaderg Yigezaw, and St. George football club coach Wubeshet Dessalen were appointed as assistant coach and a goalkeeper coach, respectively.

After the Malawi game, the national team will play their final group game on September 4, 2023 against Egypt in Cairo. After the interim coaches announced the squad, complaints arose regarding the selection of strikers.

Many argue that the national team faces difficulties due to the lack of a prolific striker. None of the forwards named in the squad seem capable of scoring the goals needed.

Star striker Abubakar Nasser, who plays for Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club in South Africa, missed out through injury, while inform Adama City attacker Dawa Hotesa was surprisingly omitted.

With the retirement of veteran goalscorer Getaneh Kebede from international duty, there appears to be a dearth of strikers who can find the net consistently. This leaves the Walias vulnerable as they strive to achieve their objectives.

The inability to score goals, cited as the main reason for the team’s poor results, hurt the team in their third and fourth group matches against Guinea.

The interim coaches tried to convince Getaneh to play in the fifth group match. However, the former national team forward who currently plays for Wolkite Football Club, declined the invitation. Getaneh is doing well in the league and was seen as a potential solution. However, Ethiopia faces numerous issues beyond striker shortage.

There are many problems plaguing the national team.

During Wubetu’s tenure, the team played 35 games, including 10 friendlies. The team won only six of their 25 competitive matches against other nations. The team’s inability to score – and win – consistently highlights only a part of Ethiopia’s footballing issues.

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