There were warning signs that Egypt was not performing at their best in their 1-0 victory over Guinea to open up 2023 AFCON qualifying but it was difficult to see the Pharaohs falling to such a lopsided 2-0 defeat against Ethiopia on Thursday. Dawa Hotessa and Shimelis Bekele scored in the first half for the Walias on their way to a dominant victory that leaves all four teams in Group D tied on three points after two games.
Ethiopia are currently unable to host games in the country due to lacking a suitable stadium but that did not stop the team from making Lilongwe, Malawi their home. The hosts jumped on Egypt from the beginning and the signs were worrying early on for Egyptian supporters until their worst fears were confirmed in the 20th minute. Ethiopia star Abubeker Nassir drove down the right wing and skipped past Egypt center back Mahmoud Alaa before crossing for Hotessa, whose shot from close range deflected off Omar Gaber and rolled in beyond the reach of goalkeeper Gabaski.
It only got worse for Egypt as the Pharaohs failed to get a shot off in the entire first half. Nassir could have doubled the lead a few minutes after the opener when Amanuel Gebremichael sent him in on goal with an excellent through ball but the Ethiopian Coffee forward’s finish went off the post and danced along the goal line before going out for a goal kick. Ethiopia would eventually find their second when Gebremichael picked out Bekele’s inside run and the veteran moved in before blasting an effort to overwhelm Gabaski, giving the Walias a lead they would hold onto easily.
In the other match going on simultaneously, Guinea dominated possession and had the majority of chances but could not find a goal through ninety minutes against Malawi. However, late on in second half stoppage time it was Guinea star midfielder Naby Keïta who played the role of match winner. A fluid buildup from Guinea’s own half saw the Syli National rampage down the pitch before Keïta collected the ball 35 yards from goal, playing a combination with substitute Bafodé Dansoko before sending his finish high into the net past Malawi keeper Charles Thomu.
Highlights of the Ethiopia win and video of Keïta’s winner are below.