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Africa Cup of Nations
January 21, 2013
• Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: E. Otogo-Castane
• Attendance: 10000
C. Mbesuma 45'+
Adane Girma 65'
So Group C is underway with Zambia and Ethiopia both earning a point. The second game of the day gets underway in just over an hour with Nigeria taking on Burkina Faso. But for now, thanks very much for your input. I've been Tom Maston for Goal.com.
Well, well, well. Defending champions Zambia couldn't break through and Ethiopia deserved their point after their performance before going down to ten men. They will be no pushovers in this tournament if that display is anything to go by.
90' + 4'
Yellow CardA. Butako
90' + 3'
Yellow CardMinyahile Teshome Beyene
90' + 3'
Minyahile Teshome Beyene
FULL TIME: ZAMBIA 1-1 ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia on the attack but they can't get a sight of goal. Mayuka gets away down the left at the other end but his cross is hit with too much power and the chance is gone.
We are into three minutes of stoppage time. Can either side find a winner?
Chance for Zambia as a well worked free-kick is played to Sinkala on the edge of the box, but with the ball bobbling he can only fire it over the bar. The pitch has really played its part in this match and that was a good illustration of it.
Jacob Mulenga has been largely wasteful since his introduction and he carries on in that vein as he shoots over from a tight angle when a corss would have been a better option.
Zambia are playing a high line in search of a winner and Adane almost plays Saledin in behind, but the defenders cut the ball out when the striker looked to set to run in on goal.
Ethiopia aren't settling for a point. Goalscorer Adane shares some neat interplay with substitute Addis but his cross is cleared. Not long left now for either of these teams to find a winner.
After not having a save to make for much of the second half, Tadele pulls off a good one to deny Mbesuma. The big striker hit it on the turn and as it bobbles towards the corner the goalkeeper turns it behind for a corner.
Saledin has come to life again for Ethiopia, but he cannot keep the ball after finding some space. Could still go either way this one.
The reigning champions are rally pushing and Mulenga should do better with a free header at the back post but he can only direct the effort over the bar. He may have been better off leaving the ball for Katongo behind him who seemed better placed.
Zambia beginning to build the pressure and a Nkausu cross is aimed at Mbesuma, but the defenders do well to clear the ball before Saledin wins a free kick on halfway.
Yellow CardCollins Mbesuma
BIG MOMENT! Mbesuma powers into the box and seems to be tugged by Reda. The referee disagrees though and books the striker for simulation.
That goal has done Ethiopia the world of good, but their over-confidence almost costs them as they lose the ball midway in their own half. Eventually Mulenga has a speculative effort that dribbles wide.
GOAL FOR ETHIOPIA! Addis makes an instant impact with a greeat reverse pass into Saledin, who in turn finds his captain Adane Gebreyes who beats Mweene at his near post to score a superb equaliser.
Ethiopia make their second change as Addis Hintsa replaces Kebede.
Zambia are comfortable at the moment and look like they may try and conserve their energy for matches to come. Still 1-0 with less than half an hour to go.
Zambia make their first substitution as Jacob Mulenga replaces Musonda, who was booked in the first half.
Katongo and Mbesuma are using all their experience and causing a real handful for the Ethiopia defence. The latter finds the former in the box but the captain shoots wide.
Mbesuma fires wide from distance for Zambia. The 2012 champions are trying to test substitute goalkeeper Tadele, but, the goal apart, he has had little to do since his introduction.
Felix Katongo tries his luck for Zambia from just outside the box, but his effort sails wide of the post via a deflection. The resulting corner is worked to Musonda but his shot is high and wide.
If Ethiopia are going to get back into this, Saledin looks set to be involved. Every ball forward is aimed at him, but with his slight frame he is struggling somewhat against the big Zambia centre-backs.
It looks as if Ethiopia are going to try and hit Zambia on the break. Their one man deficit means they are struggling to keep hold of the ball and Zambia are looking like they want to make this game safe as soon as possible.
Saledin holds the ball up well and lays it back for Getaneh Kebede 30 yards from goal. The attacker tries to curl and effort over Mweene but it misses the target.
Ethiopia try to get the ball forward towards Saledin but they cannot hold onto it. The striker may only need one chance to get the 1962 Afcon winners back into this, but creating that opportunity could prove difficult.
Ethiopia get us started in the second half, but Zambia win the ball straight away as they look to take control of this match.
The teams are back out and the second half is about to get underway!
With the second half just minutes away, @angesom1 has tweeted 'Ethiopia was supposed to be one goal up but is now one goal down.......unbelieveable but we stilll got time to get the equalizer!'. Obviously a lot of belief from Ethiopia supporters, but playing against the reigning champions for 45 minutes with just ten men won't be easy.
What a 45 minutes of football that was!. Do you think Tassew should have been given his marching orders. Can Ethiopia get back into this or will Zambia's numerical advantage see them run out victors. Tweet me @maston91 with your thoughts.
The referee blows the half-time whistle and we can all breath again. Zambia lead through Mbesuma's goal it could have been very different if Saledin hadn't missed two great chances, including one from the penalty spot. The sending-off of goalkeeper Tassew will hurt Ethiopia and they face an uphill battle to get back into the game.
45' + 3'
45' + 3'
GOAL FOR ZAMBIA! It has been a frustrating half for Collins Mbesuma, but he has finished it with the opening goal of the game. A chipped ball is headed down into his path and he gets between the two centre-backs and powers it home from close range.
45' + 1'
Yellow CardJoseph Musonda
The referee has been kept busy in the first half, and Musonda is the next man to have his name taken for a mistimed challenge on Getaneh Kebede.
Kalaba is a real threat down the right hand side for Zambia, but his most recent cross is expertly cleared. Into three minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half.
Kalaba powers in a cross from the right as Zambia look to make their numerical advantage count, but Mbesuma can't control his header and it floats wide.
The resulting free-kick is curled wide by Rainford Kalaba and Ethiopia can now reorganise with just 10 men.
Yellow CardAynalem Hailu Reda
In the aftermath of the red card incident, Ethiopia's Aynalem Reda was booked for dissent
Ethiopia finally bring on their substitue goalkeeper Zerihun Tadelle replacing midfielder Shimelese Bekele.
Still awaiting the restart in this match, with the officials having a discussion in the middle of the pitch.
Red CardJ. Tassew
RED CARD FOR ETHIOPIA! Tassew is stretchered off, but that doesn't save him and he is dismissed for a professional foul. The Ethiopia coach is on the field arguing with the referee, but he isn't going to change his mind for anyone.
Tassew is still down and the referee is looks to be waiting for him to get up before making a decision. Lungu is up and about and seems set to continue.
Poor defending from Ethiopia allows Lungu to break through but under pressure from Tassew he can only lob wide. The pair clatter into each other after the ball is gone and though Tassew is down, he could still be in trouble with the referee.
Mbesuma wins a free kick around 35 yards from goal, and though his powerful effort is half-blocked by the wall, Tassew has to be on his toes to gather the ball with two Zambia players lurking in the box.
Despite that penalty miss, Saledin's confidence hasn't been knocked and he shows nifty footwork to create space for a shot, but he slices wide. Moments later he fires over from distance as the minnows continue to press.
Down the other end, Zambia almost punish Saledin even further as Katongo fires in a low shot that goalkeeper Jemal Tassew does brilliantly to save one-handed low to his left.
Penalty saveKennedy Mweene
Missed PenaltyS. Said
PENALTY SAVED! Kennedy Mweene becomes a hero for his country as he parries Saledin's penalty away from danger. In all honesty not a great spot kick.
Yellow CardChisamba Lungu
PENALTY TO ETHIOPIA! Great counter-attacking play eventually reaches Saledin and he cuts onto his right foot before Chasamba Lungu brings him down. The defender booked for his trouble.
Another poor delivery from Zambia in wide areas but they win a corner. The set-piece is worked short and after some neat interplay Zambia captain Felix Katongo should score with a free header but it balloons harmlessly into the stands.
OH SO CLOSE FOR ETHIOPIA! A terrible error from Hijani Himoonde allows Saladin to run in one-on-one with Mweene. The forward lobs the goalkeeper but the rock hard surface sees his effort bounce over the bar when on a softer pitch it would have surely nestled in the back of the net.
Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene is known for having skill with his feet, and his searching crossfield pass finds Joseph Musonda on the left, but his cross is weak and easily dealt with.
After something of a frenetic opening, the game has settled down somewhat. Zambia are looking to find Mbesuma with an aerial ball, but more often than not the striker can't get on the end of it.
Yellow CardStophira Sunzu
The first yellow card of the game goes to Zambia's Sunzu for a cynical challenge on Said Saladin. Not a great challenge, but the resulting free-kick is easily cleared.
Zambia certainly look the more likely in these early stages, but the Ethiopian defence has dealt with everything thus far and don't seem daunted by the situation.
Ethiopia get their first look at Davies Nkausu's long thrown as he hurls one into the box, but Collins Mbesuma, who had a spell in England with Portsmouth, can't control his flick-on and it drops out of play for a goal kick.
Early action at both ends as an Ethiopian corner pinballs around the area and Minyahile Beyene scoops the ball well over the bar.
Zambia keep the ball well in the early stages and go close to breaking the deadlock as defender Stophira Sunzu, who scored the winning penalty in the 2012 final, strikes one from all of 35 yards that is just too high.
Zambia get us underway and Group C of the 2013 African Cup of Nations has begun!
The national anthems of both teams have come and gone and we are all but ready for kick-off. The competition has yet to really come alight after only five goals in the four weekend matches, so fans will be hoping for a bit more entertainment at the start of the first full week of the tournament.
Despite being the reigning champions, Zambia only just scraped into this year's competition after beating Uganda 9-8 on penalties in their qualifier, but their form has improved since then and they are clear favourites for this encounter.
The teams are in the tunnel and, as always in Africa, there is a party atmosphere. The Ethiopian supporters are especially enjoying themselves as they watch their team in the tournament for the first time in 31 years.
Ethiopia: Tassew, Bune, Reda, Mekonnen, Seyoum, Zewc, Gobena, Beyene, Kebede, Godo, Saladin.
Zambia: Mweene, Musonda, Himoonde, Nkausu, Sunzu, Chansa, Katongo, Kalaba, Sinkala, Lungu, Mbesuma.
The teams are in ahead of kick-off in South Africa...
Hello and welcome along to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of the opening match in Group C of the African Cup of Nations as holders Zambia take on minnows Ethiopia at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. I'm Tom Maston and if you'd like to discuss the match or give me your predictions I can be found on Twitter @maston91.
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