St. George to face off Defense in Ethiopian Cup final
Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) runner-up St. George is set to face off Defense FC in Ethiopian Cup final in Hawassa Stadium on Saturday, it was learnt.
The Match scheduled for Saturday afternoon will decide which club will represent Ethiopia at the CAF Confederation Cup 2018/19.
Ethiopian army side progressed to the final after beating Ethiopia Coffee 1-0 in the knockout stages, while St. George secured the finals by the virtue of being the runner-up in the forgone EPL season. Champions of this year’s EPL season Jimma Aba Jiffar declined to compete for the Ethiopian Cup there by allowing the second place St. George to get a shot at one of the two biggest club football competitions in Ethiopia.
Jimma officially announced their intention to forfeit on Ethiopian Cup finals saying that it will clash with their preparation for the upcoming EPL season. Due to this, St. George were able to directly qualify for the Saturdays' finals.
It is a vital match for both sides as the winner will be taking part in CAF’s Confederation Cup competition this year. Both clubs are prominent in Ethiopia’s EPL football. Defense FC is uniquely successful in Ethiopian Cup competition with 13 Cups under its belt and winning the 2015 final for the second time in three years. St. George, on the other hand, has equally glamorous record in Ethiopian Cup with 12 wins over the years.
Defense FC entered the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup as runners-up in the 2016 Ethiopian Cup. However, they were knocked out of the tournament after being beaten 2-1 in aggregate by a Cameroonian side Yong Sports Academy in the preliminary round.
As the opening date of the EPL gets closer clubs appear to be busy beefing up their squads before the closure of the transfer window. The Horsemen were ice breakers in signing a new player. Getaneh Kebede, national team forward and a decisive striker for Dedebit FC, moved to the league’s most frequent champion, St. George, at a record high fee making headlines in Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the Horsemen also signed players who have been in good form during last EPL season. Henok Aduegna of Jimma Aba Jiffar and Abel Yalew from Dedebit were the other great signings for the seasoned EPL side.
Elsewhere, after Defense FC appointed Seyoum Kebede as its new head coach, the club signed new players like playmaker Dawit Estifanos from Fasil City and appears to be in a rather good shape.
It’s has been weeks since Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) clubs like St. George, Ethiopian Coffee, Sidama Coffee and others competed for Ethiopian cup in Hawassa Stadium.
Regional pre-competition cup is also underway across the country. Debub Castle Cup, Amhara Cup, Tigray Cup and the Addis Ababa City Cup have been scheduled as pre-season competition.
Addis Ababa Football Federation (AAFF), on the other hand, announced that the city cup is to start on October 6, 2018 in National Stadium. Including, the Cameron based Kwara FC and invited local clubs are confirmed for this tournament.