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Late Nassir leveler sees Ethiopia draw Zimbabwe in Harare

In a match featuring few clear opportunities for either team, Ethiopia managed to obtain a draw at Zimbabwe in a FIFA World Cup qualifying dead rubber on Sunday. An 86th minute strike from the talented Abubeker Nassir helped the Walias avoid dropping to last place in Group G after Kudakwashe Mahachi’s first half opener threatened to give Zimbabwe their first win of the group stage. Ethiopia ends the round with five points while Zimbabwe wrap up with a meager two points.

Neither team created much in the opening exchanges and it took some time for the first scoring chances to arrive. Zimbabwe continued to rotate their squad and implement new players into the setup and lacked much in the way of fluidity. However, the Warriors were able to open the scoring in the 29th minute courtesy of what has been Ethiopia’s main weakness: defensive mistakes. A poor back pass had Ethiopia keeper Teklemariam Shanko scrambling and forced him into a sliding clearance. The ball fell right to Mahachi and the SuperSport United player hit a first time shot from 35 yards out that went into the top corner before Shanko could scramble back into position.

After the teams came out for the second half with Zimbabwe ahead, the Ethiopia side increased their attacking efforts. In the 51st minute, forward and captain Getaneh Kebede received a pass and attempted a curling effort from 25 yards out that nearly looped into the goal, but his the crossbar and bounced clear. Eventually the Walias were able to find their equalizer and it came in the 86th minute. Tafese Lamene eluded a couple of Zimbabwean defenders before sending Nassir in on goal with a well weighted pass. The Ethiopian Coffee star dribbled around keeper Taimon Mvula before tapping into an empty net.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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