Ethiopia likely to miss top players in key match
RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — Ethiopia's chances at the African Cup of Nations have taken a hit with the team's two top players expected to miss the decisive Group C match against Nigeria on Tuesday.
Ethiopia coach Sewnet Bishaw said Monday that midfielders Asrat Megersa and Adane Girma may not recover from the injuries they sustained in the first half of the team's match against Burkina Faso.
Ethiopia is last in the group but will still have a chance of advancing if it beats Nigeria in Rustenburg.
In its first tournament appearance in more than 30 years, Ethiopia earned a surprising 1-1 draw with defending champion Zambia in the opener, then fell 4-0 to Burkina Faso after Asrat's and Adane's injuries.
"Two very important players were out and I'm afraid that they are not coming back," Bishaw said. "Adane and Asrat are not in a good position right now. It will be up to the doctor's decision before the match."
Adane, who scored against Zambia for the team's first African Cup goal in 37 years, left Friday's match against Burkina Faso with a muscle injury in his right leg. Asrat had to leave the match just before halftime because of a right knee injury.
Neither player has been able to practice since the match at Mbombela Stadium and they are both undergoing intensive treatment. Bishaw said Asrat's injury appears the more serious one and that he may have to be sidelined for up to 20 days.
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