The Horn Times Sport, 21 January 2013
(By Getahune Bekele, at Mbombela stadium- South Africa)
ETHIOPIA 1-1 Zambia.
“Who said Africa cannot play like Barcelona? This Ethiopian team is Africa’s Barcelona.”
Sunday Olisey, Nigerian foot ball legend.
“Today Ethiopians have showed the world that African foot ball is on the rise”
Mark Fish, South African foot ball legend.
“Today I witnessed minnows turning giant killers”
President of Nigerian football association.
Today I realize why an Irish Historian Deborah Murphy once described my beloved Ethiopia as the land of beautiful women and handsome men. Not just the sheer artistry on the field of play that mesmerized Africa and the world, it was the beauty of the girls and the glamour that followed Ethiopians wherever they go that bewilderd humanity on this historic day.
Am as astounded as everybody else by the tactical and technical discipline of the black lions that attacked the mighty Zambians like angry swarm of bees.
The goal scored today by the nifty Adane Girma on the 64th minute is our first goal at African cup of nations since March 1976. And it is done in the most dramatic way. Africa’s lowest ranking team at this tournament, Ethiopia, butchering the defending champions, Zambia.
Furthermore, the entire soccer analysts at super sport channel 4 were unanimous when they select the Ethiopia vs. Zambia game as the best since the 29th edition began on Friday.
The game started very badly for the black lions when on the 16th minute star striker Saladine Said missed a golden chance to put Ethiopia ahead. Again on the 24th the same player, who had an off day by his standard, missed a penalty. That was followed by a controversial red card to the acrobatic goal keeper Jamal Tassew on the 30th minute.
The game was stopped for more than 5 minutes as angry black lion’s fans threw missiles at the Gabonese referee.
The substitute goal keeper, the young Zerihune Tadele’s first job was to pick the ball out of his own net as the feared Zambian talisman Collins Mbesuma escaped the attention of the lanky Asrat Megersa and scored.
The referee again had to halt the match for few minutes as Mbesuma was pelted with all sort of missiles for trying to celebrate his goal in provocative manner in front of the furious black lions fans.
A man down and battered, we all panicked and prayed for respectable defeat.
However, Coach Sewnet Bishaw, sensing the danger brought in the young man who sends a SOS to all English premier league managers by performing admirably, Addis Hintisa.
Addis’s first touch was to hit a pass which curved open the Zambian defense. Saladin collected the ball and laid it for Adane Girma to score on the 64th minute.
What a glorious moment in the history of Ethiopian soccer!
The man who became public enemy number one in September 2012 for dedicating the victory over the Sudan to the dead tyrant Meles Zenawi, Coach Sewnet Bishaw then run straight towards the fans and celebrated with them.
All is forgiven, Coach.
Now it is a case of one down two to go. Nigeria and Burkina Faso must find a way to contain rising stars such as Asrat Megersa, Abebaw Butako, Aynalem Hailu and the speedy winger Shimeles Bekele.
The quarter final berth aimed by Sewnet is a possibility and the dream of returning to the glory days is continuing.
Meanwhile, besides the jeering of the national Anthem, the person who was given a hiding by the black lion’s fans was Ethiopian foot ball federation president Sahilu Gebrewold, an accursed TPLF cadre who prevented the players from meeting their passionate fans at the air port on Friday.
There was no portrait of the dead warlord Meles Zenawi the Stadium.
TPLF cadres were a no show in Nelspruit.