Ethiopia remained in control of Group A with a deserved 2-1 win away to Botswana in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Saturday afternoon.
The result saw the Zebras bundled out of qualifying, and with South Africa having beaten the Central African Republic, Ethiopia needed a result to stay top of the group.
The game got off to a slow start but the visitors would go on to take the lead in the 33rd minute when Getaneh Kebede fired in his second goal in as many matches.
The visitors were flowing with confidence but Botswana were not about to roll over and they put on a determined display in the second period.
Their pressure would pay off when substitute Tebogo Sembowa pulled a goal back with 16 minutes to go, which made things tense for the visitors.
The Zebras poured forward in search of an equaliser but Ethiopia managed to hold out to claim all three points.
All eyes will now shift to Ethiopia’s showdown with South Africa next week.
Ethiopia remain top of Group A
08 June 2013, 17:06
Ethiopia remained top with 11 points after goals by Getaneh Kedebe and Salahdin Ahmed edged out the home side.
Ethiopia came into the game knowing that a win would highly increase their chances of qualifying for the Fifa World Cup as they lead their pool on eight points – five ahead of second placed South Africa.
It was never going to be an easy test overcoming a strong Botswana squad Stanley Tshosane put out on home soil, despite having only won one of their last six matches.
As the game progressed neither team was able to produce any goals by the conclusion of the first half hour.
But three minutes later the deadlock breaking goal did arrive when Getaneh Kedebe put Ethiopia in front as the Zebras struggled to get the best out of their wingers Phenyo Mongala and Joel Mogorosi.
A second was handed to the away side on the stroke of halftime, when Salahdin Ahmed had no trouble in converting his effort to make it 2-0.
On the stroke of the hour, Asrat Gobena was shown a yellow a card for his misbehavior while Botswana opted to make some changes in hope of turning the game around.
The changes proved to add a new spring of life into the Botswana camp as they pulled a goal back in the 76th minute through substitute Tebogo Sembowa, who headed the ball into the back of the net.
Despite the host’s late siege on goal, there was no coming back for them as they lost their third game of group.
The defeat for Botswana means their hopes of heading to Brazil are over, as they remain bottom of the table and nine points off Ethiopia.
|Central African Republic||1||0||2||2||4||-2||3|