Congo Topple Ethiopia in Seven-Goal Thriller –

by Zelalem

Photo: CAF

Egypt’s 1-0 defeat in Ndjamena against Chad was certainly an upset.

Congo Republic overwhelmed Ethiopia in a seven-goal thriller in Addis Ababa to clinch an important away win in their first leg clash of the second round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The visitors, who won 4-3, were in firm control of the game for the first 30 minutes. In the 21st minute, Thievy Bifouma’s free kick was cleared off by Ethiopia skipper Seyoum Tesfaye.

The hosts then had multiple of goal scoring chances. Dawit Fikadu sent a low shot that was no trouble for Congo goalie, Christoffer Mafoumbi.

The Walias took the lead in the 40th minute as Getaneh Kebede capitalized on a blunder by the Congolese rear.

It took only few minutes for ‘Les Diables Rouges’ to respond, with a Bifouma free-kick landing in the net for the equalizer.

It was goals galore in the second half AS fans at Addis Ababa Stadium were treated to five goals.

In the opening minutes, Shemeles Bekele went close to hand Ethiopia the lead through a brilliant free kick, which the Congolese responded to save the situation.

On the hour mark, Bifouma set up Fabrice Ondama to score Congo’s second goal and nine minutes later, Bifouma was unlucky to increase the tally for his side, with Tarike Gertnet denying him from close range.

The visitors were running rampant, and captain Francis N’Ganga headed home from close range to make it 3-1.

The Congolese then took the game beyond their hosts minutes later with the fourth goal through substitute Hardy Binguila, who punished the Ethiopian backline for poor defending.

The Walias fought back and reduced through Dawit Fikadu before Bekele made it 4-3 from close range.

Congo coach, Claude Le Roy was a happy man with the display of his team.

“The game was so good in terms of the number of goals scored. As usual we deployed an offensive tactic that blossomed at the end. We have scored four away goals just like we did in Guinea Bissau (in the AFCON 2017 qualifiers).

“We created a lot of goal scoring chances, but lacked concentration in the closing stages of the game that cost us a 3 goal cushion,” said Le Roy.

“The Ethiopian players fought very hard till the end, and I appreciate their effort. I know the crowd is not satisfied with the result but I am sure most of them will agree on the game being a good match. We have yet to play the return leg and Ethiopia can beat us in Brazzaville. Hence, expect us to be more cautious in the second leg,” added Le Roy.

On his part, Ethiopia coach, Yohannes Sahle admitted the better team won.

“Their (Congo) system was far better than ours. We tried to apply our system but they blocked us from doing that. We had some chances to score but we were wasteful. It is plainly evident that they are a better side. We can perceive the difference in quality and organization between the two of us. They were better in the middle of the park.

“All in all, we are not that disappointed with the result considering the quality of the opponent. I told my players to push forward. Our defensive organization was shambolic due to the fact that we really wanted to score. We know the mistakes we commit. We should be fully focused for the return leg as we still can get something in Brazzaville,” added Sahle.

The return leg will take place on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 at the Alphonse Massamba Debat Stadium Brazzaville.

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