Ethiopia decisive group opening match against Zambia


African defending champion Zambia, two time former champions Nigeria, third nations’ cup champion Ethiopia and Burkina Faso are in group three battling for two places to go through the knock out stage in the African Cup of Nations. With no clear favorite to dominate the games, the group stage is expected to be a stormy sea where many surprises could surface. Ethiopia will play its group opening match against Zambia who is currently in a high moral ground for having CAF’s best player of the year Christophor Katongo in the team as well as best coach French man Herev Renardat the center of the team. Katongo is skipping “Chipolopolo” otherwise known Copper Bullets that boasts four foreign based players.
Back to the stage after three decades, the Ethiopian National team has  vowed to at least go through the group stage thus head Coach Sewenet Bishaw’s priority task is to make the team come out as the winner of the opening match. Winning the Opening match means to automatically have pole position to book a place in the knock-out stage.
The second match is against Burkina Faso, a team that boasts more than a dozen foreign based players most in French league. Although there is little information about Burkinabe, it is considered as group three’s underdog that is ready to surprise any one of its contenders. By the time Ethiopia takes Nigeria in the group’s final match, almost everything will be clear. The Super Eagles under former African champion Stephen Keshi is fully dominated by European based players such as mid field power house Obi Mikael from Chelsea.  Nigeria  has the edge to win the group for having such mighty squad but the usual last minute players’ bonus pay controversy and big names ego could send the Eagles home packing earlier than expected. Nigeria has been to America for a friendly match and the latest to Barcelona to a 1-1 draw against not yet FIFA recognized Catalonia national team. Having all these, the Eagles have the capacity to fly over the group. However it should not be forgotten that Football is  famous because it is one of the most unpredictable sport in the world where the results could change in a fraction of a second.
The 29th African Cup of Nations  will kick off on 13th January with group three opening matche.