Ethiopia vs. South Africa  2 - 1


FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Ethopia, Egypt top groups

17 June 2013 00:17

Ethiopia topped Group A of the CAF section of FIFA World Cup qualifying, but will have to wait to see if they can play in the final round.

They secured a 2-1 success at home to South Africa on Sunday, however, their place in the last phase is under threat following an announcement from FIFA that they are face an investigation for allegedly fielding an ineligible player in a fixture with Botswana on June 9.

Bernard Parker had put South Africa ahead in the 33rd minute, but Getaneh Kebede equalised just before half-time and Parker then scored past his own goalkeeper with 20 minutes remaining, as Ethiopia claimed the points in Addis Ababa.

In Group B, Tunisia affirmed their position as group leaders with a 1-1 draw in Equatorial Guinea.

Their position in the last round was already confirmed by second-placed Cape Verde loss to Sierra Leone on Saturday, and Oussama Darragi's 64th minute penalty cancelled out Juvenal's first-half spot-kick for the hosts.

Ivory Coast sealed their progression from Group C, as they defeated Tanzania 4-2 at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.

Morocco's 2-0 victory over Gambia on Saturday meant a loss would have seen the Ivorians and Moroccans face a final-game showdown in September.

Amri Kiemba's second-minute strike put Tanzania ahead, but Lacina Traore and Yaya Toure put the visitors ahead.

Thomas Ulimwengu restored parity in the 35th minute, but Toure's second goal before half-time re-established Ivory Coast's lead and Wilfried Bony added a fourth in second-half injury time.

Ghana maintained their position at the top of Group D as goals from Christian Atsu and Asamoah Gyan either side of half-time secured a 2-0 success.

They lead Zambia by one point, with the two set to meet in September in a winner-takes-all match.

Egypt progressed from Group G, despite Guinea's 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe.

Mohamed Salah's 40th minute goal, gives them an unassailable five point lead at the top of the group, having won all five of their fixtures so far in the round.

Algeria will also take part in the final knock-out stage, a 1-0 success courtesy of a Saphir Taider goal confirmed their place atop group H.

Mali could only draw 2-2 at home to Benin to end their hopes. Stephane Sessegnon's opener for the away side was cancelled out by Mahamadou Samassa's penalty. Razak Omotoyossi put Benin back in front before Cheick Diabate secured a point for the hosts.

Cameroon could only draw 0-0 with Congo DR, meaning they have to beat Libya in the final round of fixtures to take their place in the final round.

Senegal and Uganda will also face off in the final game to secure a place in the final round.

A double from Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse earned Senegal a 2-0 over Liberia, leaving them on nine points, just a point ahead of the Ugandans.


Ethiopia facing FIFA investigation

16 June 2013 23:32

FIFA have opened an investigation against the Ethiopian Football Association for allegedly fielding an ineligible player.

A 2-1 success over South Africa on Sunday meant Ethiopia secured top of their FIFA World Cup Qualifying CAF section group, snatching a place in the final round of the qualifiers, but that spot is now under threat as they could be docked points if found guilty.

The alleged offence occurred during a 2-1 preliminary World Cup qualifying victory over Botswana on June 8.

The Togolese Football Federation are also investigation for allegedly fielding an ineligible player, with the offence reported to have occurred during their 2-0 win over Cameroon on June 9.

Meanwhile Equatorial Guinea were found guilty of the same offence during their 4-3 win over the Cape Verde Islands on March 24.

They have since launched an appeal to the FIFA Appeal Committee.

A statement on FIFA's website read: "The disciplinary proceedings against the three associations relate to article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and article 8 of the Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil."


FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Ethiopia 2 South Africa 1

16 June 2013 17:44

Ethiopia provisionally reached the final round of CAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 win over South Africa on Sunday.

However, their place could be under jeopardy with FIFA set to investigate an ineligible player in an earlier qualifying fixture, which could see them docked points.

South Africa striker Bernard Parker went from hero to zero at the Addis Ababa Stadium in the Ethiopian capital, opening the scoring in the 32nd minute, but turning into his own net in the second half to possibly knock his nation out of contention for next year's tournament in Brazil.

The Kaizer Chiefs man's contributions came either side of a goal from Ethiopia starlet Getaneh Kebede, after some disastrous defending from Gordon Igesund's side.

After a tense end-to-end opening 30 minutes, Parker gave his side hope of overtaking Ethiopia at the top of Group A, latching onto a long ball into the left channel and controlling a fine volley past Jemal Tassew and into the far corner from 15 yards.

Midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane should have doubled the advantage in the 40th minute, but could only shoot straight at Tassew from 12 yards, and he was punished just three minutes later.

South Africa failed to deal with a cross from the right, and after the ball popped out of an almighty scramble in the penalty area, Kebede kept his cool to dispatch his eighth international goal past Itumeleng Khune.

The visitors threw everything forward after the break, but they were the masters of their own downfall as Parker once again found the net, but this time at the wrong end, putting a miscued header past Khune and gifting Ethiopia the win.

Igesund introduced strikers Tokelo Rantie and Katlego Mashego in a desperate attempt for goals, but they could not find a way through and are now unlikely to advance into the next round of qualifying, where Ethiopia will instead face a two-legged tie against another group winner for a spot at the World Cup, if FIFA do not bring any charges against them.


FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: Ethiopia v South Africa

14 June 2013 14:01

Ethiopia will look to book their spot in the FIFA World Cup qualifying play-offs when they face South Africa at home on Sunday.

The unbeaten side will win the Group A in the CAF qualifying section if they beat their opponents in Addis Ababa but, with South Africa poised just two points behind them, victory will not come easily.

Ethiopia come into the game on the back of an impressive run of form in qualifying after winning their last three fixtures.

However, South Africa have also not been beaten so far and enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Central African Republic last week.

When the teams met in the reverse fixture in Rustenburg just under a year ago, they shared the points with a 1-1 draw after Katlego Mphela scored in the 78th minute to cancel out Ethiopian striker Salahdin Ahmed's early goal.

The home side will be relying on Ahmed and his partnership with fellow forward Getaneh Kebede, which has seen the two players score four goals each so far.

South Africa - who hosted the last World Cup in 2010 - have netted seven goals in qualifying, with 27-year-old forward Bernard Parker bagging two and the remaining five all coming from different players.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia were disqualified from qualifying for the 2010 tournament so will be eager to edge one step closer to the finals this time around with a win on Sunday.


FIFA World Cup Qualifying Preview: Ethiopa look to seal play-off place

14 June 2013 12:39

Ethiopia can move within one step of next year's FIFA World Cup when they host South Africa in a qualifying match on Sunday.

The CAF Group A leaders have 10 points, with the Bafana Bafana second on eight points with two matches remaining each.

Ethiopia can sew up top place in the pool with a victory, but the fact the reverse fixture in Rustenburg finished 1-1 shows that winning will not be easy.

Indeed, should South Africa earn three points at the Addis Ababa Stadium, they would take the upper hand in getting one step closer to next year's showpiece, especially as they host bottom-placed Botswana in their final group game.

The onus is on Gordon Igesund's men to get the victory though, as a draw would mean their fate is still in the hands of Ethiopia - who finish the group with an away game in the Central African Republic, a side they beat 2-0 in the reverse fixture.

Tunisia are all but guaranteed to win Group B as they have a five-point buffer on closest rivals Sierra Leone ahead of their trip to Equatorial Guinea.

Ivory Coast - the Group C pacesetters - are similarly close to sewing up their spot in the CAF play-off round, and they travel to Tanzania knowing a draw would virtually see them through.

Group D is still up in the air but Ghana, who are second behind Zambia by a point, can put huge claims on top spot when they travel to Lesotho.

The Zambians are likely to beat Sudan earlier in the weekend, but James Kwesi Appiah's side can maintain pressure on their rivals ahead of what is guaranteed to be a deciding group finale between the two nations in September.

Egypt can continue their attempt to be the only side to win all their group games, as they face the lowly Mozambique.

The Group G winners beat the island nation 2-0 last time out, and have only got a plus-six goal differential but are already through to the play-offs for the five African places in Brazil next year.

Also in the group, Guinea and Zimbabwe will go head-to-head in dead rubber.

Algeria can strengthen their hold on Group H with victory over winless Rwanda, while Mali can keep their hopes of progressing alive against Benin, who have lost their last two games.

Just two points covers first to last in Group I, making any victory vital with the Democratic Republic of Congo set to host Cameroon.

Group J is similar to I in closeness of competition, with Liberia able to overtake leaders Senegal in the table despite currently being in last place.