NAIROBI, Kenya, November 30 – Umed Ukuri got on the scoresheet twice as Ethiopia thrashed Djibouti 5-0 in the Orange Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup match on Monday.
It was a game of two halves as the Ethiopians unleashed an avalanche of goals in the space of 10 second half minutes with Aklilu Ayenew, Adane Girma and Tafesse Tesfaye also netting for the victors.
“We changed our formation and our tactics because they weren’t working in the first half,” said Ethiopian coach Abreham Haimanot after the game.
“The five goals will give us a major confidence boost ahead of our next match against Zambia,” he added.
Djibouti coach Ahmed Gosheri blamed inexperience for his team’s defeat.
“Most of these players are very young and it’s their first time in a competition like this. They also lacked the physical size to play against the Ethiopians,” said Gosheri.
Surprisingly, it was Djibouti who were the livelier of both sides in the first half astheir darting runs left the Horn of Africa Rivals at sixes and sevens.
Djibouti defender almost got the score ticking with a 25 metre chip that almost dipped into the Ethiopian net but just sailed over the bar.
The Walya Antelopes were the more clinical side opting to build from deep by passing on the floor and unleashing the dangerous Umed Ukuri and Adane Girma on the wings with Ibarahim Hussein making a nuisance of himself in the Djibouti box.
Ethiopia began the slaughter three minutes in the second half when Ayenew rose to meet a Hussein cross to head the ball in.
The rout continued to apace seven minutes later when Hussein attacked down the near touchline and launched a cross into the Djibouti area for towering striker Girma to bury the ball into the corner of the net.
It only got worse for Gosheri’s hapless side after three minutes when a blistering Antelope attack tore Djibouti to shreds and Tesfaye to tap in.
Ukuri finally got just reward for his hard work by scoring the last two goals to send his country to the top of the group.