Libya beat Ethiopia 2-0 to go top of Group C

2014-01-13 22:21

Classy Libya moved to the top of Group C after beating Ethiopia 2-0 in their opening African Nations Championship (Chan 2014) encounter at the Free State Stadium.

Elmutasem Abushnaf blasted in the opener from an awkward angle in the fourth minute before substitute Abdelsalam Omar completed the outstanding victory eight minutes from time in front of 7 455 spectators at the Bloemfontein venue.

The Libyans top the standings with a better goal difference to Ghana, who beat Republic of Congo 1-0 in the earlier group match.

The north Africans are proving they will not be pushovers in this group, while the hard-running Ethiopians have some thinking to do. They were left frustrated and counting their poor finishing that has now placed them in a delicate position in this competition.

The Ethiopians had a slow start, to the disappointments of their large support in the stands, especially in the first half.

The Walyas now have to aim for victory against the difficult Congolese on Friday evening to stay alive and give themselves a chance of making it to the tournament knockout stages.

After being in disarray in the opening minutes, they finished the half strong despite tame finishes from Adane Girma and Dawit Demessie, who should have pulled a goal back for their team.

Ethiopia came out with attacking intent in the second half but their wasteful ways continued as substitute Manaye Abera spoilt his brilliant solo run in the 58th minute by abysmally shooting over the bar with just Libya keeper Mohammed Abdaula to beat.

They failed to crack Libya’s tenacious defending before being caught napping at the back as Omar found the second goal.

Libya had absorbed the pressure and attempted to protect their lead and catch the Walyas on the counter attack – a tactic that worked to perfection.

Libya will next take on the Ghanaian Black Stars in the battle for top spot, also on Friday, in a match where the winner may just have one foot in the knockout stages of the tournament.

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