Red Devils secure chance to progress after Ethiopia are sent packing

2014-01-18 10:04

The Democratic Republic of Congo could progress to the next round of the African Nations Championship after Ethiopia became the second team to be eliminated in the competition.

The Ethiopians lost 1-0 to Congo in their group C encounter at the Free State Stadium last night.

Read: We’re no underdogs, say Congo ahead of Ethiopia clash

Red Devils striker Rudy Bhebey-Ndey netted in the 78th minute for the feisty minnows, who have now given themselves a chance to progress through to the tournament quarterfinal stages.

Congo, with three points, now has to beat group leaders Libya at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Tuesday to secure passage to the second round.

However, they can also secure a knockout spot if Ethiopia grabs an unlikely win over Ghana’s Black Stars in a simultaneous fixture at the Free State Stadium.

Libya and Ghana (four points each) are now in pole position and just require a point each in their final games to secure a place in the next stages.

They played to a 1-1 draw in their fixture, earlier yesterday.

The Ethiopians, who have yet to find the net in the competition, can only have themselves to blame in a match characterised by amateurish finishing. The defending was abysmal from both sides, to the horror of the 11 178 fans in attendance.

While the East Africans attacked with intention, they panicked when aiming at the target, and Adane Girma missed two clear-cut chances in the first half.

The most comical moment was on the hour mark, when striker Behailu Gobeze failed to take advantage of a poor Congolese defensive clearance that was literally delivered to his feet. Instead, he shot straight at keeper Gildas Mouyaki.

Congo were no better, and Birhanu Boyzo tamely had his shot saved before the interval and then Bhebey-Ndey completely missed the ball with just Ethiopian keeper Jemal Bushra to beat, shortly after the break.

The probing Hardy Benguila also found the woodwork midway through the second half as his side dominated the latter part of the game.

Ethiopia will join Mozambique on the early flights home next week.

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