Ethiopian shadow national team returns home


The shadow Ethiopian National team returned home after a poor performance in the 36th CECAFA zone championships. Fikru Tefera and Salah Yusuf might join the first team to South Africa.
National team assistant coach, Seyoum Kebede, at the helm of the shadow team, was also tasked with scouting for new talents from among the shadow team, whose record at the CECAFA games shows one win and three defeats, scoring two while conceding six. A 1-0 win over first-time participants South Sudan, a group stage 1-0 defeat to defending champions and host Uganda followed by a 3-1 loss to neighbours Kenya allowed the shadow team to join the quarter-final stage, filling the “best third side” spot from all the groups, on goal difference. At the quarter final rematch against Uganda, Seyoum’s side lost 2-0 and was ousted on Tuesday. Seyoum, with a squad that was hardly solid to begin with, fielded five midfield players on Tuesday, yet was outplayed and outclassed to the extent that the lone striker Fikru Tefera (based in Vietnam) was hardly supplied with the ball. To the surprise of many, neither Fikru nor Swedish-based striker, Yusuf Salah, managed to find the target. The two goals that Ethiopia scored came by way of Electric’s Yonatan Kebede and the Banks player Elias Mamo. Although now the tournament is history for our side, the issue of whether the first team should have taken part will certainly dog the head coach Sewnet Bishaw and his assistant Seyoum Kebede for a long time to come, especially with the dismal result of the shadow team at the games. It is generally believed that the participation of the first team would have provided them with the necessary training and preparation at no extra cost; therefore, their decision to forgo this opportunity will have to be addressed sooner or later, especially in light of the future performance of the first team at the Africa Nations Cup in South Africa.  Thankfully, the Ethiopian Football Federation vice president, Teka Asfaw, indicated that at least three international friendly matches will be played. That will include the Tanzanian team, and the others which we will play against “at extra cost”, in preparation for the kick-off at the Africa Nations’ Cup finals.