Mebratu: Ethiopia bent on victory against Kenya

Ethiopia coach Abraham Mebratu is hoping to continue with their winning spree when they face Kenya in a Group F double header.

The Walias comes to the encounter having won 1-0 against Sierra Leone in Hawassa last month, and trainer Mebratu believes his charges will be ready for the Kenya double with the first leg due for Wednesday in Bahir Dar.

We have had few days to train with the locally-based players. The foreign based players have started joining camp and I think we will be ready for the game. Due to the Ethiopian Cup ties, we couldn’t start preparation as we initially planned but we can manage that, Mebratu said.

We are training hard every day. We want to give a strong challenge to our opposition and win at home. A positive result will help us cement our hopes of securing qualification to AFCON.

We are only thinking about securing maximum points in home soil. All the teams in the group picked three points that made things to start from scratch. All we need to do is win our remaining games.

Mebratu is aware of the Walias scoring woes and has called up attacking minded midfielder Canaan Markneh. Defender Temsgen Castro and midfielder Shemkit Gugesa are the new inclusions whereas Egypt-based trio Shemeles Bekele, Omod Okuri and Gatoch Panom maintained their plaes in the team.

Meanwhile, central defender Asechalew Tamene and veteran winger Behailu Assefa are racing against time to be fit for Wednesday’s encounter.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Samson Assefa (Dire Dawa City), Tekelemariam Shanko (Hawassa City), Tsion Merede (ArbaMinch City)

Defenders: Abdulkerim Mohammed, Asechalew Tamene, Henok Adugna, Salahdin Bargicho (all from Saint George), Anteneh Tesfaye (Dire Dawa City), Mujib Kassim, Amsalu Tilahun (both from Fasil Kenema), Ahmed Reshid, Temesgen Castro (both from Ethiopian Coffee)

Midfielders: Mulualem Mesfin, Natnael Zeleke, Behailu Assefa (all from 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 (both from Saint George), Omod Okuri (Smouha SC/Egypt), Dawa Hotessa (Adama City), Addis Gidey (Sidama Coffee)

Source: Confederation Africaine de Football

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