Ethiopia played a goalless draw with Mozambique in their first game of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Saturday.
The second Group A match was played at the Nelson Mandela Stadium – the same venue where favorites Algeria edged Libya 1-0 on Friday in the tournament opener.
Both sides failed to break the deadlock in the match played at the Nelson Mandela Stadium despite creating several scoring opportunities with the Walia Ibex particularly guilty of profligacy.
Ethiopia enjoyed much of the ball possession in the opening half of the game with the first clear-cut chance falling to the East Africans.
Markine Maleko was the culprit as he failed to beat goalkeeper Victor Guambe from close range.
The Walia Ibex grew in confidence with Milion Solomon and Suleman Hamid pivotal in carrying the ball forward.
Fuad Abdo had a glorious chance to put Ethiopia ahead when the Mambas failed to properly clear Debebe’s inswinger, but Fuad’s efforts went off target.
Mozambique’s goalkeeper was kept busy all afternoon, as he made at least three fine saves to keep the game on a parity at the break.
Ethiopia had shouts for a penalty waved away after Alberto Thauzene appeared to have handled Amanuael Aregawi’s shot in the 18 yards box, but the VAR confirmed the referee’s decision.
Wubate Abate turned to his bench for a possible solution and brought in Beniyam Demte to replace Fuad Abdo.
Isac Decarvalho failed to make Ethiopia pay for their attacking-mindedness after goalkeeper Fasil Gebremichael collided with his own defender in an attempt to stop a Mozambique cross, but Decarvalho’s header went inches above the crossbar.
Mozambique looked more lively in the last quarter of the game, as both sides squandered late chances to make a difference.
Man-of-the-match Gatoch Panom blamed “penalty area indecision” for the failure of Ethiopia to overcome Mozambique.
The two teams now have one point each and are second in Group A, behind hosts Algeria who defeated Libya on Friday.