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CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup: Ibrahim nets hat-trick as Eritrea hold Ethiopia

In-form striker Ali Suleiman Ibrahim netted a hat-trick to held Eritrea hold hosts Ethiopia to a 3-3 draw as the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup kicked off on Saturday in the town of Bahir Dar.

Although the Eritrean defenders looked shaky and gave away easy chances for the Ethiopians to convert, the team fought back strongly to earn a vital point.

William Solomo Tesfae gave Ethiopia the lead after 10 minutes when he slotted the ball past goalkeeper Kibrom Solomon Haile.

But the Eritrean team started to show more dominance with skipper Robel Teklemichael in command in the heart of the midfield.

After 38 minutes the Ethiopian captain Abubeker Nasir Ahmed restored the lead when he converted a penalty.  But minutes later Ali Suleiman Ibrahim leveled matters for Eritrea with a well taken shot past Ethiopia’s goalkeeper Tsiyon Merid Jimma.

In the second half Abubeker Nasir Ahmed made it 3-2 for Ethiopia, but Suleiman Ibrahim also later made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-3.

The two teams battled to find the winning goal, but the defenders worked hard to keep the attacks out of goal.

Mekonen Zewde Abraha, the Eritrean coach said he was happy with the attitude his players showed to fight back and pick a draw.

Ethiopia’s head coach Wubetu Abate said his players had put up a good show in the opening match. Eritrea will next face Burundi on July 20th in their second Pool B match.

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