Ethiopia to test Lesotho in build-up ties ahead of AFCON qualifiers

The Ethiopia national football team will play Lesotho in two international friendly matches as they shape up for the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 qualifier.

Head coach Wubetu Abate says the two matches to be played in Ethiopia will help his players get in shape ahead of their Group D matches against Malawi and Egypt.

“These friendly matches are coming at the right time because we need that competitiveness in the team to be tested before the qualifiers,” added Abate.

The Walia Ibex will hosts Lesotho in the first international friendly on Saturday before the second one on May 31st at the Adama Science and Technology University Stadium.

The Ethiopian national team will however miss the services of experienced player Getaneh Kedebe due to disciplinary reasons.

The coach made it clear that the team captain was not called because of a discipline issue.

Kedebe netted for Ethiopia in their 1-1 draw at the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) played in Cameroon early this year.

Speaking about their first game against Malawi on June 5th, the coach made it clear that it will not be an easy match because the home team will be determined to make use of the home ground.

“But we shall prepare well and go and battle to get a good result,” added Coach Abate.

The Ethiopia Football Federation (EFF) decided all their home matches will be played in Malawi since their stadiums were not cleared by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Ethiopia is placed in Group D alongside Egypt, Malawi and Guinea.

Ethiopia’s squad

Goalkeepers: Fasil Gebremichael (Bahir Dar City), Bereket Amare (Ethiopian Coffee), Dagim Tefera (Hawassa City), Said Habtamu (Wolkite City)

Defenders: Asrat Tunjo (Ethiopian Coffee), Remedan Yousef (Wolkite City), Henok Adugna (St. George), Suleiman Hamid (St. George), Birhanu Bekele (Hadiya Hossana), Mignot Debebe (St. George), Yared Baye (Fasil Kenema), Git Gatkut (Sidama Coffee), Million Solomon (Adama City)

Midfielders: Amanuel Yohannes (Ethiopian Coffee), Gatoch Panom (St. George), Surafel Dagnachew (Fasil Kenema), Bezabeh Meleyo (Fasil Kenema), Mesud Mohamed (Jimma Aba Jifar), Binyam Belay (Defence Force), Wondimagegn Hailu (Hawassa City), Shemeles Bekele (El Gouna, Egypt)

Forwards: Amanuel Gebremichael (St. George), Cherenet Gugsa (St. George), Dawa Hotessa (Adama City), Bereket Desta (Fasil Kenema),Abubeker Nassir (Ethiopian Coffee), Yigezu Bogale (Sidama Coffee), Habtamu Tadesse (Hadiya Hossana)

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