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2023 AFCON Qualifying: Efficient Guinea capitalize on Ethiopia’s mistakes in Group D victory

Guinea’s Syli National are closing in on securing a spot at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations following their 3-2 victory over Ethiopia in action from Group D on Monday. Ilaix Moriba, Morgan Guilavogui and star midfielder Naby Keïta all scored for Guinea at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat to overcome an Ethiopia team that paid the price for simple errors and turnovers. With nine points from four matches, Guinea are in good position to secure their ticket to the competition finals in Ivory Coast when they face Egypt in June while Ethiopia remain in last place with three points.

The situation continued to not be ideal for Ethiopia, forced to host another home fixture outside the country due to the lack of a stadium that meets CAF standards. The Walias got off to a nightmare start in Morocco when Guinea playmaker François Kamano had plenty of time to see the late arriving run of Keïta and played a perfect pass for the Liverpool player, who made the finish look simple as he rolled his shot past Ethiopia goalkeeper Said Habtamu for a 4th minute strike.

Ethiopia dominated possession and were able to strike back in the 34th minute when Chernet Gugsa’s dribble run on the right flank saw the Saint George player combine with club teammate Abel Yalew before crossing low for Kenean Markneh to shoot past Ibrahim Koné in the Guinean goal. The joy was short lived for Ethiopian supporters, who would see Guinea retake the lead before halftime when Keïta passed to Moriba at the edge of the area for a low shot past Habtamu.

The frustration continued for the Walias continued in the second half. After another period of sustained possession, a simple midfield turnover in the 70th minute was punished by the opportunistic Syli when Moriba played a pass over the top to Guilavogui on the right wing, who drove into the Ethiopian penalty area without trouble and fired low past Habtamu. Ethiopia found a late consolation goal in the final seconds through Kitika Jema when the substitute finished from Suleman Hamid’s cross but it was too little too late for their hopes of earning a point.

Highlights are below.

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