Ethiopia Walia Ibex coach Abraham Mebratu has fired the first salvo ahead of their crucial 2019 Africa Cup of nations back to back qualifers against Kenya vowing to beat Harambee Stars in Ethiopia.
Mebratu speaking to www.soka25east.com said his work is cut out and the country is yearning for another AFCON opportunity after 2013 .
“It is definitely going to be a very tough match but we are determined to beat Kenya at home since that will help us in the second leg match away in Nairobi.I have told my players nothing is impossible as long as they will give 100 percent ”
“Kenya have very good players but that is not our worry for now what is important to us is to ensure we get a win that will motivate us in the second leg to be played in Nairobi.We are ready for the battle ahead as we will fire from all cylinders” Mebratu concluded.
Coach Abraham Mebratu named a squad of 25 players that hit camp on Monday ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) group “F” qualifier against Kenya.
The first leg is slated for October 10 in Bahir Dar, situated northwest of Addis Ababa with the return leg four days later in Nairobi.
Kenya is second in the group with three points following a historic 1-0 win over Ghana on September 8 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. Four-time African champions Ghana lead the group while Sierra Leone and Walya Antelopes are third and fourth respectively.
Two teams will qualify for the finals scheduled for Cameroon June next year.
Mebratu, whose charges edged out Sierra Leone 1-0 at Hawassa Stadium on September 9, will rely on their star players Gatoch Panom and striker Getaneh Kebede who ply their trade with Egyptian side El Ghouna and Saint George respectively.
Kenya lost 2-0 to Ethiopia the last time they met at Bahir Dar Stadium courtesy of goals from Gatoch na Asechalew Girma during the 2016 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers
Ethiopia managed to force a goalless draw in the return leg at Nyayo Stadium to qualify for the Championship that was hosted by Rwanda.
Overall, the two nations have faced off 42 times with Ethiopia winning 18, Kenya 14 while 10 have ended in a stalemate.
Goalkeepers: Samson Assefa (Dire Dawa City), Tekelemariam Shanko (Hawassa City), Tsion Merede (ArbaMinch City)
Defenders: Abdulkerim Mohammed, Asechalew Tamene, Henok Adugna, Salahdin Bargicho (Saint George), Anteneh Tesfaye (Dire Dawa City), Mujib Kassim, Amsalu Tilahun (Fasil Kenema), Ahmed Reshid, Temesgen Castro (Ethiopian Coffee)
Midfielders: Mulualem Mesfin, Natnael Zeleke, Behailu Assefa (Saint George), Gatoch Panom (El Gouna/Egypt), Shemeles Bekele (Petrojet/Egypt), Biniyam Belay (Skenderbu Korce/Albania), Amanuel Yohannes (Ethiopian Coffee), Canaan Markneh (Adama City), Shemekit Gugesa (Fasil Kenema)
Forwards: Getaneh Kebede, Abel Yalew (Saint George), Omod Okuri (Smouha SC/Egypt), Dawa Hotessa (Adama City), Addis Gidey (Sidama Coffee)