Libya hoping to lift mood in country with good Chan 2014 performance

2014-01-14 09:07

A good 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) performance will lift the mood of the people from war-torn Libya.

The national side’s captain, Ali Salama, said that the north African country needed something to be proud of after years of unrest. Libya recently returned to international competition after a year-long hiatus because of the country’s political situation.

“We are all playing as one group in this team. Everybody in the squad is doing their best to give joy to the people of Libya back at home,” Salama said after his team’s 2-0 win over Ethiopia in their Chan Group C opener at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, yesterday.

The Mediterranean Knights netted in each half through Elmutasem Abushnaf and substitute Abdelsalam Omar.

“We hope to progress further in this competition. Also, Libyan domestic football was stopped for three years so we are also here to learn some new things with the youngsters that will take the team forward.”

They will next face Ghana on Friday night, who also have three points in the standings after their 1-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo in the earlier group match yesterday.

Libyan coach Javier Clemente was full of praise for his charges. “We played well considering that Ethiopia is one of the strongest teams in the competition and we now have to face our remaining group matches against Ghana and Congo with same mentality.”

Meanwhile, Ethiopian coach Sewnet Bishaw asked for an improved display from his charges when they take on the Congolese Red Devils on Friday.

Victory is critical for the east Africans as they try to avoid an embarrassing early elimination.

“It will be a challenging game for us – this is the decisive one,” said Bishaw. “I’m telling my players to forget about the loss against Libya, it’s now in the past and let’s think about the new game.”

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