The Horn Times Sport 26 January 2013
*Is there division in the Camp?
ETHIOPIA 0 – 4 BURKINA FASO
(By Getahune Bekele, Nelspruit – South Africa)
Where was that immaculate carpet football which made soccer pundits around the world to admire our national team? Why did Coach Sewnet Bishaw tempered with a winning formula? Why fix something that wasn’t broken? Was it necessary to bring in the out of sorts and rusty Degu Debebe for defensive hardman Abebaw Butako who performed admirably against Zambia? How did a team that was transformed from minnows to potential champions in just 90 minutes terribly dismantled like that? Lots of questions but no answers.
That was Burkina Faso’s first win after failing to do so in 6 nations cup tournament.
Passionate Ethiopian fans with all the glitz and glamour of Liverpool’s Merseyside crowd were bitterly disappointed and some were in tears. What went so horribly wrong?
Although we are still mathematically in the competition, without the injured due of Adane Girma and Asrat Megersa the team seems soulless and directionless.
In the first half, except for the third minute glaring miss by Shimeles Bekele after a great interplay with Saladin, there was nothing to write home about as far as the Walias are concerned.
Sewnet Bishaw got it all wrong tactically and as a result the team was humiliated by 10-man Burkina Faso, a totally unacceptable result at international level. The Ball retention we saw against Zambia was nonexistent; the direct football the Walias dished out against Zambia wasn’t there either.
So what was Sewenet’s game plan against the physically superior Burkina Faso team with vast experience?
The humiliation could have been averted had the likes of power house Yared Zinabu, Abebaw Butako, reserve goal minder Sisaye Bansa and the imposing Fuad Ibrahim given a starting berth to much the Stallions pound for pound instead of asking the light weight Shemeles Bekele to do battle against the gigantic Banse or Charles Cabore of Olympic Marseille.
With our defense crumbling every time mercurial Burkinabe wingers Allain Traore and Pitroupa took off, Young goal keeper Zerihun Tadele was given a baptism of fire and he becomes the first keeper to concede 4 goals in one match.
However, the biggest disappointment of the night was none other than Addis Hintsa, the man who was closely watched by various teams here in South Africa and around the world. For the first ten minutes of the game even camera men couldn’t hide their admiration for the most promising player of the tournament.
But for whatever reason, he never switched on his engine for the whole 90 minutes with his body language suggesting that all might not well in the dressing room.
Are some players still being haunted by the ghost of the dead tyrant Meles Zenawi? We all hope that is not the case.
So is it all over for the Walias?
From what we observed in the two matches, Coach Sewnet Bishaw certainly has players who can dismantle the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Yared Zenabu has both the ability and the strength to stop Eminike from scoring. Then with Adane Girma out Saladine must up his game to solve the chronic goal scoring problem of the team.
The Ethiopians have one more chance to redeem themselves by convincingly defeat Nigeria to progress to the knock out stages of Afcon 2013.