Premier league defending champion Ethiopian Coffee returns home with a narrow first leg 1-0 defeat while Saint George snatches away all three points. Home fans believe both sides have the best of chances to get through to the second round qualification matches.
Back in to international fixtures for the first time in 14 years Ethiopian Coffee under head coach Wubetu Abate speculation was that Coffee would finish business in Comoros capital Moroni and go through easily. The sea side Comoros is best known for its tourist destination rather than soccer. However, eight time Comoros champion Coin Nord managed to defeat the visiting Coffee by a narrow 1-0 score line making its return leg in Addis Ababa a tougher job. The Capital’s high altitude, full house of home fans and if Coffee’s short passing strategy goes smooth nothing short of an emphatic win is expected. On the other hand Cup holders Saint George returned home with 1-0 victory over Gabon’s knock-out champion Coin Nord. Last year’s premier league joint top scorer Adane Girma scored the second half’s winning goal to help his side sit in the driving seat for the second leg home match in a week’s time. After a successful staging of the 28th nation’s cup final the Gabonese side was hot favorite for the home match. However despite a cheap reception by the hosts, Saint’s attack minded formation paid-off with the single goal victory leaving AS Manga sport desperate for the return home leg in Addis Ababa next Sunday. Taking Ethiopian Coffee’s victory for granted its next encounter is Egyptian giant Al-Ahly while Saint George will face Tunisian counterpart Club Africa.