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Watch out for Ethiopia


Ethiopia's Walia Antelopes have suddenly caught the attention of Africa and top analysts who had given them the underdog tag. After a sublime performance against defending champions Zambia, this is the team to watch.

I have followed Ethiopia for many years but I can certainly say I had a belief they could stem many in the Afcon 2013 and they did not disappoint when they fought with 10 men to hold favourites Zambia to a 1-1 draw. Football does not respect big names at all.

Despite being the lowest ranked team in the tournament, Ethiopia are the hope of East Africa, having been the only Cecafa members to qualify for the coveted Afcon tournament.

Ethiopia can be equated as the Barcelona of Africa with their fluid passing football and their embracing of the tiki taka playing style that mesmerised both friend and foes, giving them a head start.

Instead of relying upon their usual, direct economy, Ethiopia became tempered with poise and delicacy and at the heart of the transformation were Salhadin Said and Adane Girma, who stood tall throughout the game .

Ivory Coast may be the team to catch in the 2013 Afcon but Ethiopia is definitely the team to watch. The team has finally found the man that can ignite their hopes.

Ethiopia fans poured into the stadium to support their team, with hordes of buses travelling on a 10-day journey from Addis Ababa to support their team in South Africa. It is important that the fans, just like the players, restrain themselves to avoid any disciplinary actions.

I want to believe that, with technical and tactical discipline, Ethiopia have the capacity to go all the way in their group and I dont think Nigeria's Super Eagles will be any superior if Ethiopia can remain composed and focused.

Twitter: @bedjosessien


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