Sahle: We gave too much respect to DR Congo

By alex wafula
Jan 17, 2022
  • Asechelew Tamene of Ethiopia attempts to break away from Congo's Meshack Elia. Ethiopia lost 0-3. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Frank Thierry Boya races away from Angola's Pedro Luvumbo in a CHAN match at Huye Stadium. The Indomitable Lions won 1-0. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Ethiopian coach Yohannes Sahle acknowledged the Walya Antelopes gave too much respect to their opponents DR Congo following a 0-3 loss at Huye Stadium, Rwanda in this year's Africa Nations championship.

“We had possession but it never helped us with anything. At the end of the day, football is about results. We had a system to play today but then we didn’t play according to that system,” Sahle said after the Group B match.

As a result of the win, DR Congo move to the top of the group. Cameroon who narrowly beat Angola 1-0 in a late kick off are a close second.

In the first match, Ethiopia appeared confident in the opening minutes commanding possession while DR Congo sat back. But at the end of the 90 minutes, possession counted for nothing as the Congolese, winners of the tournament in 2009 used their experience to win.

DR Congo were more direct in their approach while Ethiopia’s main undoing was conceding fouls in the red zone.

Bilingi Mpangi was fouled in the ninth minute on the edge of the box butHeretier Luvumbu’s effort with his left foot went over. Luvumbu was named man-of-the-match. 

Three minutes later, DR Congo had a similar chance from almost the same range after Asechalew Tamene fouled Guy Lusadisu. He took the free kick which did not threaten Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s plan of advancing forward was to use Ramkel Lok’s speed and strength from the wings because the Ethiopian players were dwarfed by the Congolese. Lok had the physical presence to match the physique of the DR Congo backline marshalled by TP Mazembe’s Joel Kimwaki.

In the 23rd minute, Lok managed to break away from the right but could not fire a decent shot and Ley Matampi was not threatened. He was released again on the right by Gathuoch Panom but his attempt for a cross was poor, Matampi picking up easily.

Mamo saves with his feet

Abel Mamo, the Ethiopian keeper was forced into his first real save in the 33rd minute from a Luvumbu shot from distance which he saved with his feet. Guy Lusadisu’s effort from the rebound went wide.

But, the lanky AS Vita Club forward made amends in the 44th minute, rising to head in Joyce Lomalisa’s cross from the left.

Congo doubled their lead almost immediately after the restart, Luvumbu tapping in from close range. This had come just minutes after Mamo had beautifully saved Meshack Elia’s shot.

Elia got his name on the scoresheet in the 57th minute with another simple tap in from two yards out. This was initiated by Luvumbu who raced on the right and laid a cross which Bolingi Mpangi flicked over Mamo.

Ethiopian coach, Sahle responded by pulling off Abelachew Tesfane for Asrat Gobena. Defensive midfielder Panom was also pulled out for offensive player Samson Alemu, but Congo managed to keep calm and guard the three goals, and the three points.

In the late kick off, Cameroon managed a 1-0 win over Angola despite playing the final 23 minutes of the match with 10 men. Left back Joseph Jonathan Ngwem was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle in the 68th minute.

Cameroon had gotten the lone goal in the 21st minute through Yazid Atouba’s wonderful freekick from the edge of the box.

Immediately after Ngwem’s red card, Angolan coach Jose Antonio Kilamba pulled out defensive midfielder Nelson Sumbo for striker Augusto Quibeto to try and utilize their numerical advantage.

His Cameroonian counterpart Martin Mpile responded with two defensive changes, Mousa Souleymanu coming off for Carlain Manga, while Serge Atangana came on for goal scorer Yazid. Mateus Domingos also came in for Regio Francisco, another attacking change by Angola.

But, Cameroon held on to pick the vital three points.