Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ethiopia overwhelm Somalian

Ethiopia overwhelm Somalians

ADDIS ABABA — Somalia's national football team, the Ocean Stars, suffered a crushing 5-0 defeat at the hands of Ethiopia here on Wednesday in their World Cup qualifier second leg match ending Somalian hopes of reaching the 2014 finals.

Ethiopia progressed 5-0 on aggregate after the first leg played in Djibouti last weekend ended 0-0.

Shemeles Bekele and Getaneh Kebede both scored doubles in the second-half after Omod Okwury had given them the lead in the fifth minute.

Somalia struggled to keep up with the Ethiopian players, who dominated control of the ball throughout the game and powered through a weak Somali defence.

"The way we played in Djibouti, we didn't play like that today. We tried to do something here, but we didn't get what we wanted from Addis," said Ocean Stars technical advisor Abdirashid Oman.

Ethiopia's head coach Sewnet Bishaw said Somalia's main disadvantage was the altitude, which Somali players are not accustomed to competing in. Addis Ababa stands at 2,400 metres above sea level.

"Every team is affected by the altitude, and this is our advantage," Sewnet told reporters after the match.

Ethiopia's national stadium was full of exuberant fans cheering excitedly for both teams, though Ethiopian supporters far outnumbered the Somalis in the stands.

This is only Somali's fourth time reaching the qualifying stage in the team's 60 year history.

That was an achievement in itself given it has been racked by two decades of civil war, and multiple governments have failed to create stability in the Horn of Africa nation, let alone form a competitive football team.

Famine has been declared in several areas of southern Somalia, while last month Kenyan troops moved across the border to battle Islamist rebels there.

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