Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia play out Group A stalemate

Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia play out Group A stalemate
Mama Balde of Guinea-Bissau ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jun 06, 2024. 20:06

Guinea-Bissau and Ethiopia played out a goalless stalemate in their Group A 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, played at Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau on Thursday evening.

The result is a somewhat underwhelming start for new Djurtus coach Luis Boa Morte, who would have been hoping for a victory in his first match in charge. The draw is enough to see G-B rise to second place on the standings, though their status will change depending on the result between Egypt and Burkina Faso later in the evening.

The Walia Ibex, meanwhile, remain winless in the group and are placed fifth with just two points from the opening three rounds.

The first half saw little in the way of attacking action, with Guinea-Bissau managing the only shot on target, which was easily dealt with by Ethiopia goalkeeper Said Habtamu.

The hosts struggled to provide service to centre-forward Franculino, with fellow forwards Elves Balde and Mama Balde unable to make any notable penetration against Ethiopia’s defence, which was well organised by Fetudin Jemal.

The first half closed at 0-0, and both teams looked to shuffle their pack about a quarter hour after the restart, with the Djurtus throwing on Famana Quizera, while the Walia Ibex introduced Biniam Fikre.

However, both attacks continued to fire blanks, and even Guinea-Bissau’s late changes – which saw Prosper Mendy, Romario Balde, Toni Silva and Sori Mane introduced – were not enough to stop the game fizzling out to a 0-0 draw.

Ethiopia will next face Djibouti away in El Jadida, Morocco, on Sunday 9 June, while Guinea-Bissau will host Egypt in Bissau the following day.

Guinea-Bissau 0

Ethiopia 0

G-B: Man. Balde, Alfa Semedo (S. Mane 87’), Mam. Balde, J. Bikel, F. Cande (R. Balde 79’), M. Cassama (P. Mendy 79’), M. Djalo, J. Encada, Franculino (T. Silva 86’), O. Sangante, E. Balde (F. Quizera 61’)

Ethiopia: S. Habtamu, B. Bekele, B. Belay (A. Biniam 79’), W. Gezahegn (F. Fereje 89’), F. Jemal, Y. Kassaye, C. Markneh, G. Panom, M. Solomon, M. Tafesse (A. Demissie 79’), M. Wondimu (B. Fikre 62’)

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