14 December 2017 09:37
Ethiopian champions, Saint George played out a goalless draw against cross city rivals Ethiopian Coffee in a week 6 clash of the Ethiopian Premier League on Tuesday, 12 December 2017 in Addis Ababa.
Fewer goal scoring chances were seen throughout the game as both sides battled to take the midfield. Coffee’s Nigerian striker Samuel Sanumi unleashed a powerful shot from distance which sailed wide six minutes into the game. Sanumi was very close to put Ethiopian Coffee ahead in the 21st minute when his cut back from the right flank was well saved by Ugandan goalie Robert Odongkara.
Three minutes later Behailu Assefa had the first scoring opportunity for the Horsemen as the defending champions are nicknamed. Assefa’s long drive went inches wide of the cross bar. The first interval presented very limited chances and the midfield battle was the key highlight of the ‘Sheger’ Derby.
In the second half, Ivorian winger Ibrahima Fofana perfect cross as headed out by Menetesnote Adane while Asechalew Girma tested Saint George goalie Odongkara from close range at the other end.
Few minutes later, Saint George took the upper hand on the right flank while Coffee were more dangerous on the left flank as both sides pushed for the winner. Six minutes after the hour mark, Coffee almost got the opener through center back Thomas Simretu. Simretu headed wide from Elias Mamo assist from close range.
Afterwards, Coffee’s Beninese custodian Hariston Hessou failed to parry a cross where Abdulkerim Nikima had the time and space to struck the first goal. Nonetheless, Nikima’s shot was cleared off the line by Aklilu Ayanew.
Following the draw, Ethiopian Coffee kept their five game unbeaten run in the league. However, they share fifth spot with Saint George on eight points apiece, two points shy of leaders Welwalo Adigrat University.
Habtewelede Desta (Head Coach, Ethiopian Coffee)
We tried to take full control of the game. We played a good match too. The result we have got is a deserved one; although we should accept the outcome of the game.
Fasil Tekalegn (Assistant Coach, Saint George)
The game had two faces. The first 45 minutes was a bit slow in tempo. In the second half we tried to play and perform better. Nonetheless, I don’t think we played as we should have during the game.