Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Ethiopia vs South Africa Preview

Ethiopia vs South Africa Preview

Evidence Makgopa and Thabiso Kutumela

The first of two World Cup qualifying fixtures in Group G this international break sees Ethiopia welcome table topping Bafana Bafana to Bahir Dar Stadium on the Southern tip of Lake Tana. The last time these two nations met in Ethiopia, Bernard Parker scored in both nets with Ethiopia taking all three points in a 2-1 victory.

It is the midway point in the group stages and both teams will be in search of maximum points, with the hopes of not having to be under pressure in the later rounds. Ethiopia sit on three points with a win and a loss to their name, while the visitors are yet to taste defeat with a draw and win over Ghana.

Let’s get straight into this all-important qualifier for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.


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2022 World Cup Qualifier
Saturday 9 October
Bahir Dar Stadium
15:00

To Win (Forecast betting)
Ethiopia 2/1
Draw 18/10
South Africa 9/10

Ethiopia

The history filled nation of Ethiopia have never tasted football in the World Cup finals. During the 2018 qualification they were knocked out before the third-round group stages after a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Congolese.

The road to the finals for Ethiopia have proven a little lucky with a late penalty victory over Zimbabwe in their last qualifier through 23-year-old centre-back Aschalew Tamene. Preceded by a narrow 1-0 loss to Ghana, in which they were not afraid to play an attacking game might see them come in fearless against South Africa since they’re in the comfort of their own home. The Ethiopians have lost two of their last five matches to Ivory Coast and Ghana. In that period, they’ve beaten Malawi, Madagascar, and Uganda with a solitary draw to Sierra Leone scoring 11 goals and conceding five in those six games.

Coach Wubetu Abate, has a record of five losses, one draw and five wins with Ethiopia since taking over in September of last year. He is fairly new to the team and might still be implementing his game and gaining the trust of the players, but the results seem to be fair. Three of his five wins were back-to-back and impressively had all clean sheets, so the team are capable of going on a decent run if they can ‘click’ the way Abate intends.

The return of captain, Shimelis Bekele was a massive boost to Ethiopia ahead of the Ghana fixture and will continue his leadership role come this Saturday. The recent addition of proclaimed Golden Boy of East African football striker Abubeker Nassir will be looking to find his third goal for his nation with fans in full support of the youngster’s addition. The Walias are a fairly young squad with only captain Shimelis, veteran defender Aschalew Tamene and goalkeeper Jemal Tassew above the age of 30 and youth is the key focus in rebuilding.

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South Africa

Newly-appointed Hugo Broos has been at the helm of just two fixtures winning against Ghana the last time out and a goalless draw when they travelled to Zimbabwe but find themselves atop the standings of Group G. Broos believes the players were hesitant when they faced their neighbours, with little self-belief. So, against Ghana Bafana Bafana he urged the players to come out a lot more confident in their approach, and felt they were able to do so.

Amidst the ongoing criticism of the Belgian’s team selection, there have been further blows to the squad. Percy Tau who was injured against Ghana faces challenges with new employers Al Ahly and misses out, with Hugo also stating he feels he’s not physically ready to give his all for the country. While Rushine De Reuck’s centre back partner at Mamelodi Sundowns, Mosa Lebusa, also misses and is replaced by up-and-coming SuperSport United star Luke Fleurs. Most intriguing of the lot who miss the fixture is definitely Orlando Pirates midfielder Goodman Mosele who has reportedly “absconded” from his national team call-up which has knowingly infuriated the manager. His replacement is another young and influential defensive midfielder Jesse Donn who also hails from, SuperSport United.

The mixture of Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United players in the squad could be a cause for celebration with the central players knowing each other from domestic. The central block of the team could consist of SuperSport United teammates captain Ronwen Williams in goal, Luke Fleurs partnering key Masandawana star De Reuck, and midfield duo of Teboho Mokoena and Jesse Don. The chemistry of the team should be key in finding what Broos has mentioned he is always in search of, a clean sheet.

We have not had the opportunity to see much of “Broos’ team”, but we know he wants to play offensive football, and play high up the field. He played that style well against Ghana, but seemingly played too deep against Zimbabwe, yet overall, a good fighting spirit was on display in both games.

Prediction: Draw (18/10)
Both managers are new to their roles, and both have implemented a youth-based approach to their respected nations. We can expect a high intensity game with youngsters always willing to give their everything on the pitch. Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia have only ever faced twice before, and it was in World Cup qualification for the 2014 edition of the tournament. Ethiopia were victors in a 2-1 home win and a 1-1 draw in South Africa. A lot has changed for both teams, but a nervy game for Ethiopia against Ghana whereas a confident approach from Bafana against the same opposition gives a little away into the mentality of the teams. Ethiopia should stand resolute at home despite not having fans, and Hugo’s “clean sheet” first mentality should see this fixture ending in a draw.

Written by Joshua Gaillard