Ethiopia star Salahdin Said to lead charge against Nigeria

In the absence of the duo of Adane and Asrat, the Walyas Antelopes have banked their hopes on the Wadi Degla striker who is no stranger to the Super Eagles

Ethiopia’s hopes are rested on striker Salahdin Said for Tuesday’s important Africa Cup of Nations game against Nigeria.

The 24 year-old Wadi Degla forward has been their talisman upfront for the past two years. Newly signed by Lierse of Belgium, Salahdin was the player who fired the Walyas Antelopes to a 2-2 draw against Nigeria in Addis Ababa during the qualifying process for the 2012 Afcon which the Super Eagles eventually failed to qualify for.

During training on Monday evening at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, coach Sewnet Bishaw made the team to work around his strengths – long balls and one on one play.

Yet to get on the score sheet in this tournament, Salahdin will see the game against Nigeria as an opportunity to write his name in the history books as Ethiopia returned to the tournament for the first time in 31 years.

The Antelopes will be without their star man Adane Girma, who scored their first Afcon goal in 37 years against Zambia in their 1-1 draw.

Coach Sewnet has said that the team has nothing to lose compared to their more illustrious opponents Nigeria in Tuesday’s encounter.