Ethiopia coach Webetu Abate saluted his side despite their exit at the group stage from the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria.
The team crashed out at the group stage button with just a point following their 1-3 defeat to Libya in the final game on Saturday.
The Walias left Algeria in a similar fashion when Ethiopia last played in the 2016 tournament in Rwanda, picking a point from a draw with Cameroon but losing to Angola and eventual champions DR Congo.
In Algeria, however, Wubetu felt the results were not bad and his team played “very well” in the majority of the group games.
“It was not a bad tournament for us,” he told the post-match press briefing.
“We played very well in the first and second games, but it wasn’t to be,” the coach said of the matches against Mozambique and Algeria.
The Ethiopian national team drew goalless with Mozambique and lost to the hosts by 0-1 result.
“We have been building a team in the last two years. We attended the AFCON and the CHAN. There is no pressure. We are going step by step,” said Wubetu.
On Saturday’s match against Libya, Ethiopia needed a win in the final group match to maintain hopes of advancing to the knock-out stages.
The Walias managed to take the lead in the 39th minute to spark hopes of progress after Gatoch Panom converted from the spot.
They, however, surrendered the lead to suffer a 1-3 defeat, failing to seize the opportunity to progress after Algeria saw off Mozambique’s 1-1 in the other group match.
Gatoch is the only Ethiopian player to score in the tournament. Coach Wubetu bemoaned the fact that his team didn’t take their chances.
“We had a better chance to qualify. We were in a good situation but this game didn’t go as we were thinking
“We led but conceded a simple goal. I don’t want to blame my players. We pushed to get the equalizer which exposed us.”
Our opponents were also good, they put us in difficulties. Congratulations to Libya. They deserve to win this evening.”
CHAN 2022 marked Ethiopia’s third participation but failed to pass the group stage in each of the tournaments.
Wubetu said his team left Algeria with lessons learned.
“The teams are quite competitive. Teams have good technical and tactical players.
“We were in the group of the hosts like in the AFCON. We take the lessons and hope to be back stronger,” he added.
From group A, Algeria progressed to the quarterfinals with a maximum of nine points along with Mozambique who qualified to the Round of 16 with four points after three games.
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