Bishaw: Ethiopia will challenge Nigeria in Calabar on Saturday

The Walia Antelopes’ national team coach said he will be cautiously optimistic going into Saturday’s World Cup play-off against Nigeria

Ethiopia’s head coach Sewnet Bishaw insists his side still stands a chance of qualifying for 2014 Fifa World Cup though they lost 2-1 to the Super Eagles in Addis Ababa three weeks ago.

“We have to bear in mind that they got the 2-1 advantage in the first leg after we did not close down space they rarely got in the 90 minutes," Bishaw told cafonline

"In any case the result of a football match is determined at the end of the 90 minutes. We are ready to challenge them until the end.

“In the first leg we played quite well. We avoided the heavy pressure imposed on us by the international media. We can’t deny that Nigerians are star-studded side.

"Most of the players are playing in big European leagues. Despite this we had an opportunity to be in a 1-0 lead."

The coach also added that playing an away match is always challenging for the visitors.

“This will be our third time to meet Nigeria in the space of ten months. The sad part is that we conceded two defeats in a row due to our errors. In the first match during the African Cup of Nations in South Africa they beat us two to nothing.

“They also scored both goals through penalties including another late one in the dying minutes.

"Unable to take lessons from that we also made similar mistakes during the first leg in the World Cup play off in Addis Ababa. But we will seek to avoid these mistakes in the second leg,” he concluded.