S. Sudan lose historic opener
Regardless of the result, South Sudan rewrote theirs and Cecafa history books when they became the latest team to play in Africa’s oldest football tournament.
The Bright Stars, as South Sudan are called, lost to the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia by a slim 1-0 scoreline as the 2012 Cecafa Tusker Cup got underway at Namboole Stadium, Kampala on Saturday.
Yonatal Kebedde scored the game’s lone goal when he tapped home on 60 minutes after Ethiopia labored to breach South Sudan’s backline.
South Sudan, Fifa’s newest members having been confirmed as such in May this year, were playing their first appearance in the tournament while Ethiopia are four-time Cecafa champions.
Ethiopia, although largely comprising of new faces having travelled with only one regular player in Nations Cup and World Cup campaigns, showed their know how in possession but were let down by the wastefulness of forwards Moges Tadesse and Mesfir Kidane.
Likewise, the inexperience was vividly evident in the Bright Stars of South. Ethiopia’s Kidane surged into the area and his cross had Juma Genaro fumble the ball almost into his net only for a defender to clear it off the line.
South Sudan held their nerve to go into the break goalless and the story stayed so until the 60th minute when the Antelopes attacked with venom.
Tilahon Wolde broke free on the right and his lay-off was well tapped in by Kebedde for the tournament’s first goal.
S.Sudan did survive waves of attack thereafter but also had Ethiopia on the back foot in the last 15 minutes of the game as they desperately searched for an equalizer.
Actually, substitutes Thomas Jacob and Joseph Justin could have grabbed the needed goal and that Silvestro’s header agonizingly missed by inches.
With their second half performance, Fifa’s newest members South Sudan will be encouraged going into the next group game.
With Uganda and Kenya due to kick off shortly after, Ethiopia top Group A on three points, with South Sudan on none.
ETHIOPIA: S. Asfarwak GK, T. Bogale, G. Bekele, M.Tadesse, Y. Ziruaba, M.Mena, G.Ramon, T.Wolde, M.Kidane, M.Muhammed, Y.Kebedde
SUBS: A.Derejje, B.Gimma, E.Mamo, A.K Hussein, A. Abebe, B. Habtamu
SOUTH SUDAN: T.Juma GK,K.Leon, Z.Nasib, M.Suliman, M.Emmanuel, M.Deng, E.Manase, H.ismail, W.Silvestro, K.Dak, K.James
SUBS: H.Rafeal, J.Joseph, D. Nani, A.Simon, T.Jacobe