CHAN 2023 Preview: A chat with Maher Mezahi as Ethiopia faces Algeria in the second group game

Ethiopia will face Algeria on Tuesday night’s CHAN 2023 group stage tie as they look to improve from their opening day 0-0 draw against Mozambique.

Webetu Abate’s side wasted plenty of chances in their first game as they failed to capitalize on their dominance. They will have to be more clinical in front of goal in this crucial game against the hosts.

We spoke to Algerian football journalist Maher Mezahi to preview tonight’s showdown.

How do you assess the strength of this Algerian side? Who are the key players ?

Maher: The strength of this Algerian side is not as strong as it should be. The Algerian league isn’t able to retain most of its players. Six or seven players will go to Europe and triple that will go to leagues in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Middle East.

Because the Algerian clubs pay less salary at the highest level compared to clubs like Raja Casablanca, Wydad Casablanca and Espérance de Tunis they lose players to these leagues.

The key players of the team are in midfield. 22-year-old Houssem Mrezigue of CR Belouzidad is the player to watch. He has won multiple Algerian league titles and played in the Champions League. He also won the Arab Cup in 2021. He has a good passing range and wouldn’t be surprised to see him play in one of the leagues I mentioned.

The second player is Ahmed Kendouci , another midfielder. He is the leading scorer in the Algerian league. I expect him to play outside of Algeria soon.

The last one is Zakaria Draoui , who isn’t as good as the other two players but brings a good balance to the midfield.

Do you expect Ethiopia to offer a tough challenge? Which Ethiopian player do you think the Algerians should keep an eye on ?

Maher: I do expect Ethiopia to offer a tough challenge. I have been interested with the technical qualities of Ethiopian players since 2014. It seems like the Ethiopians do the hard part and give up on the easy part like making mistakes in defense. But I’ve not only been impressed by the players but also the fans. Playing at Addis Ababa always seem difficult because of the atmosphere and altitude.

I was pleased to hear that Getaneh Kebede wasn’t playing. He might be getting older but he is crafty and knows how to score goals.

We need to keep an eye on Gatoch Panom. I think he is Ethiopia’s best player. I’ve heard good things about the young players like Amanuel Gebremicheal and Chernet Gugsa. It’s not Ethiopia’s best team but it won’t be easy.

What does winning CHAN mean for Algeria ?

Winning the trophy means a lot especially since Algeria is the host. The government is trying to increase sport diplomacy by hosting so many tournaments. Algeria wants to host and win as many tournaments as possible for political and also sporting reasons. We’ve seen countries like Morocco, Egypt and Saudi Arabia do this. But I don’t think it matters that much as long as the team put on a respectful performance and not get eliminated at the group stage or quarter finals.

Why do you think the coach insisted on preventing his players from looking at social media sites before the game? Any story behind his decision? Does it have to do anything with the Algerian media/ fans ?

Maher: The coach said to the fans and journalists to give the players time. Most people weren’t happy about the first game because it was close and there weren’t many chances. He is wary of pressure from the public. It’s about telling the players to not listen to the noise outside and not about banning social media.

EthPL

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Round 1
1 Oct 2023 15:00
ADA
0
0
CBE
1 Oct 2023 18:00
SID
0
1
BUN
2 Oct 2023 15:00
SHA
0
1
WOD
2 Oct 2023 18:00
HAM
1
2
DIR
3 Oct 2023 15:00
HAW
3
3
FSK
3 Oct 2023 18:00
HOS
2
3
MEC
4 Oct 2023 15:00
KDG
4
1
WOL
4 Oct 2023 18:00
EIC
3
2
BDR
Round 2
12 Oct 2023 15:00
DIR
0
1
BUN
12 Oct 2023 18:00
CBE
1
0
HOS
13 Oct 2023 15:00
HAM
1
2
KDG
13 Oct 2023 18:00
FSK
1
1
EIC
14 Oct 2023 15:00
WOL
1
1
SID
14 Oct 2023 18:00
WOD
0
1
ADA
15 Oct 2023 15:00
BDR
2
1
MEC
15 Oct 2023 18:00
SHA
0
1
HAW
Round 3
19 Oct 2023 15:00
EIC
0
1
WOD
19 Oct 2023 18:00
SID
0
1
FSK
20 Oct 2023 15:00
HOS
0
0
WOL
20 Oct 2023 18:00
KDG
3
2
SHA
21 Oct 2023 15:00
MEC
1
1
CBE
21 Oct 2023 18:00
HAW
0
0
DIR
22 Oct 2023 15:00
ADA
2
2
HAM
22 Oct 2023 18:00
BUN
2
2
BDR
Round 4
25 Oct 2023 15:00
SHA
1
3
SID
25 Oct 2023 18:00
DIR
2
3
CBE
26 Oct 2023 15:00
HAW
0
0
EIC
26 Oct 2023 18:00
WOL
0
3
BDR
27 Oct 2023 18:00
KDG
2
2
ADA
28 Oct 2023 15:00
HAM
0
0
HOS
28 Oct 2023 15:00
FSK
2
0
BUN
28 Oct 2023 18:00
WOD
0
1
MEC
Round 5
31 Oct 2023 15:00
HOS
0
0
SHA
31 Oct 2023 18:00
CBE
2
0
WOL
1 Nov 2023 15:00
ADA
2
1
DIR
1 Nov 2023 18:00
MEC
1
0
HAM
2 Nov 2023 15:00
SID
0
1
HAW
2 Nov 2023 18:00
EIC
0
3
KDG
3 Nov 2023 15:00
BDR
0
0
FSK
3 Nov 2023 18:00
BUN
2
2
WOD
Round 6
7 Dec 2023 15:00
DIR
1
1
WOD
7 Dec 2023 18:00
HAM
0
3
FSK
8 Dec 2023 15:00
EIC
0
1
MEC
8 Dec 2023 18:00
SHA
0
1
WOL
9 Dec 2023 15:00
KDG
1
2
BDR
9 Dec 2023 18:00
SID
0
0
HOS
10 Dec 2023 15:00
ADA
2
1
BUN
10 Dec 2023 18:00
HAW
0
3
CBE
Round 7
7 Dec 2023 15:00
WOL
1
0
HAM
7 Dec 2023 18:00
FSK
0
2
WOD
8 Dec 2023 15:00
MEC
2
1
ADA
8 Dec 2023 18:00
BDR
2
1
HAW
9 Dec 2023 15:00
BUN
1
0
KDG
Postponed
9 Dec 2023 18:00
HOS
1
1
EIC
10 Dec 2023 15:00
CBE
2
1
SHA
10 Dec 2023 18:00
SID
0
2
DIR
Round 8
14 Dec 2023 15:00
HAW
0
3
KDG
14 Dec 2023 18:00
WOL
0
2
MEC
15 Dec 2023 15:00
FSK
1
2
HOS
15 Dec 2023 18:00
DIR
1
2
BDR
16 Dec 2023 15:00
CBE
2
1
BUN
16 Dec 2023 18:00
HAM
0
2
EIC
17 Dec 2023 15:00
WOD
1
4
SID
17 Dec 2023 18:00
SHA
1
1
ADA
Round 9
3 Jan 2024 15:00
EIC
0
1
SID
3 Jan 2024 18:00
ADA
0
1
HOS
4 Jan 2024 15:00
SHA
0
0
BDR
4 Jan 2024 18:00
KDG
1
1
MEC
5 Jan 2024 15:00
DIR
0
3
FSK
5 Jan 2024 18:00
HAW
1
2
BUN
6 Jan 2024 15:00
HAM
0
2
CBE
6 Jan 2024 18:00
WOD
2
1
WOL
Round 10
9 Jan 2024 15:00
BUN
1
1
SHA
9 Jan 2024 18:00
SID
0
0
ADA
10 Jan 2024 15:00
MEC
2
1
HAW
10 Jan 2024 18:00
HOS
0
0
KDG
11 Jan 2024 15:00
EIC
1
2
DIR
11 Jan 2024 18:00
BDR
0
0
HAM
12 Jan 2024 15:00
WOL
0
1
FSK
12 Jan 2024 18:00
CBE
0
1
WOD
Round 11
15 Jan 2024 15:00
BUN
1
1
HOS
15 Jan 2024 18:00
BDR
0
2
SID
16 Jan 2024 15:00
WOD
1
2
HAW
16 Jan 2024 18:00
WOL
0
0
ADA
17 Jan 2024 15:00
DIR
1
3
MEC
17 Jan 2024 18:00
CBE
4
1
EIC
18 Jan 2024 15:00
HAM
0
3
SHA
18 Jan 2024 18:00
FSK
0
1
KDG
Round 12
25 Jan 2024 15:00
EIC
1
1
SHA
25 Jan 2024 18:00
MEC
0
0
FSK
26 Jan 2024 16:00
BDR
1
2
CBE
26 Jan 2024 19:00
ADA
3
2
HAW
27 Jan 2024 16:00
KDG
0
3
DIR
27 Jan 2024 19:00
SID
0
2
HAM
28 Jan 2024 15:00
BUN
1
0
WOL
28 Jan 2024 18:00
HOS
1
1
WOD
Round 13
1 Feb 2024 15:00
WOD
1
0
HAM
1 Feb 2024 18:00
CBE
0
3
KDG
2 Feb 2024 15:00
HOS
0
0
DIR
2 Feb 2024 18:00
BUN
3
0
EIC
3 Feb 2024 15:00
MEC
2
1
SID
3 Feb 2024 18:00
BDR
1
2
ADA
4 Feb 2024 15:00
WOL
1
2
HAW
4 Feb 2024 18:00
FSK
2
0
SHA
Round 14
8 Feb 2024 15:00
SID
2
1
CBE
8 Feb 2024 18:00
MEC
0
4
BUN
9 Feb 2024 15:00
HOS
1
0
BDR
9 Feb 2024 18:00
HAW
2
0
HAM
10 Feb 2024 15:00
ADA
1
1
FSK
10 Feb 2024 18:00
SHA
1
1
DIR
11 Feb 2024 15:00
KDG
1
1
WOD
11 Feb 2024 18:00
EIC
0
0
WOL
Round 15
15 Feb 2024 15:00
ADA
2
2
EIC
15 Feb 2024 18:00
HAM
0
0
BUN
16 Feb 2024 15:00
KDG
1
0
SID
16 Feb 2024 18:00
FSK
2
4
CBE
17 Feb 2024 15:00
WOD
0
1
BDR
17 Feb 2024 18:00
SHA
0
1
MEC
18 Feb 2024 15:00
HAW
1
1
HOS
18 Feb 2024 18:00
DIR
1
0
WOL
Round 16
29 Feb 2024 16:00
BDR
0
0
EIC
29 Feb 2024 19:00
DIR
1
0
HAM
1 Mar 2024 16:00
MEC
2
3
HOS
1 Mar 2024 19:00
FSK
2
1
HAW
2 Mar 2024 16:00
WOL
0
2
KDG
2 Mar 2024 19:00
WOD
1
2
SHA
3 Mar 2024 16:00
BUN
3
0
SID
3 Mar 2024 19:00
CBE
4
1
ADA
Round 17
7 Mar 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
SHA
7 Mar 2024 19:00
MEC
-
-
BDR
8 Mar 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
WOD
8 Mar 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
WOL
9 Mar 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
FSK
9 Mar 2024 19:00
KDG
-
-
HAM
10 Mar 2024 16:00
HOS
-
-
CBE
10 Mar 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
DIR
Round 18
14 Mar 2024 16:00
BDR
-
-
BUN
14 Mar 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
ADA
15 Mar 2024 16:00
DIR
-
-
HAW
15 Mar 2024 19:00
CBE
-
-
MEC
16 Mar 2024 16:00
SHA
-
-
KDG
16 Mar 2024 19:00
WOL
-
-
HOS
17 Mar 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
SID
17 Mar 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
EIC
Round 19
28 Mar 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
WOD
28 Mar 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
FSK
29 Mar 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
KDG
29 Mar 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
HAM
30 Mar 2024 16:00
BDR
-
-
WOL
30 Mar 2024 19:00
EIC
-
-
HAW
31 Mar 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
DIR
31 Mar 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
SHA
Round 20
4 Apr 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
WOD
4 Apr 2024 19:00
CBE
-
-
HAM
5 Apr 2024 16:00
BUN
-
-
HAW
5 Apr 2024 19:00
FSK
-
-
DIR
6 Apr 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
KDG
6 Apr 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
SHA
7 Apr 2024 16:00
HOS
-
-
ADA
7 Apr 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
EIC
Round 21
11 Apr 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
HAW
11 Apr 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
DIR
12 Apr 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
HAM
12 Apr 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
KDG
13 Apr 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
SHA
13 Apr 2024 19:00
MEC
-
-
EIC
14 Apr 2024 16:00
HOS
-
-
SID
14 Apr 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
ADA
Round 22
18 Apr 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
EIC
18 Apr 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
HOS
19 Apr 2024 16:00
HAM
-
-
HAW
19 Apr 2024 19:00
FSK
-
-
ADA
20 Apr 2024 16:00
DIR
-
-
SHA
20 Apr 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
KDG
21 Apr 2024 16:00
BUN
-
-
MEC
21 Apr 2024 19:00
CBE
-
-
SID
Round 23
2 May 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
SHA
2 May 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
DIR
3 May 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
HAM
3 May 2024 19:00
BUN
-
-
CBE
4 May 2024 16:00
SID
-
-
WOD
4 May 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
FSK
5 May 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
WOL
5 May 2024 19:00
KDG
-
-
HAW
Round 24
9 May 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
BDR
9 May 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
ADA
10 May 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
EIC
10 May 2024 19:00
WOL
-
-
CBE
11 May 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
SID
11 May 2024 19:00
WOD
-
-
BUN
12 May 2024 16:00
SHA
-
-
HOS
12 May 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
MEC
Round 25
16 May 2024 16:00
WOD
-
-
CBE
16 May 2024 19:00
FSK
-
-
WOL
17 May 2024 16:00
HAM
-
-
BDR
17 May 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
EIC
18 May 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
HOS
18 May 2024 19:00
HAW
-
-
MEC
19 May 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
SID
19 May 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
BUN
Round 26
23 May 2024 16:00
WOL
-
-
DIR
23 May 2024 19:00
EIC
-
-
ADA
24 May 2024 16:00
MEC
-
-
SHA
24 May 2024 19:00
BDR
-
-
WOD
25 May 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
FSK
25 May 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
KDG
26 May 2024 16:00
BUN
-
-
HAM
26 May 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
HAW
Round 27
30 May 2024 16:00
CBE
-
-
BDR
30 May 2024 19:00
WOL
-
-
BUN
31 May 2024 16:00
FSK
-
-
MEC
31 May 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
KDG
1 Jun 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
ADA
1 Jun 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
SID
2 Jun 2024 16:00
WOD
-
-
HOS
2 Jun 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
EIC
Round 28
13 Jun 2024 16:00
SHA
-
-
FSK
13 Jun 2024 19:00
HAW
-
-
WOL
14 Jun 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
BDR
14 Jun 2024 19:00
DIR
-
-
HOS
15 Jun 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
BUN
15 Jun 2024 19:00
SID
-
-
MEC
16 Jun 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
CBE
16 Jun 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
WOD
Round 29
20 Jun 2024 16:00
HAW
-
-
BDR
20 Jun 2024 19:00
ADA
-
-
MEC
21 Jun 2024 16:00
DIR
-
-
SID
21 Jun 2024 19:00
HAM
-
-
WOL
22 Jun 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
HOS
22 Jun 2024 19:00
KDG
-
-
BUN
23 Jun 2024 16:00
WOD
-
-
FSK
23 Jun 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
CBE
Round 30
27 Jun 2024 16:00
KDG
-
-
FSK
27 Jun 2024 19:00
SHA
-
-
HAM
28 Jun 2024 16:00
EIC
-
-
CBE
28 Jun 2024 19:00
MEC
-
-
DIR
29 Jun 2024 16:00
ADA
-
-
WOL
29 Jun 2024 19:00
HAW
-
-
WOD
30 Jun 2024 06:00
SID
-
-
BDR
30 Jun 2024 19:00
HOS
-
-
BUN

Standing Table

#
Club
P
W
D
L
Pt
1
16
11
2
3
35
2
16
10
3
3
33
3
16
9
4
3
31
4
16
8
5
3
29
5
16
7
5
4
26
6
16
6
5
5
23
7
16
5
8
3
23
8
16
4
10
2
22
9
16
6
4
6
22
10
16
6
4
6
22
11
16
5
4
7
19
12
16
5
3
8
18
13
16
2
7
7
13
14
16
2
6
8
12
15
16
2
4
10
10
16
16
1
4
11
7

Top scorers chart

#
Player
Played
Goals
1
Kidus Giorgis
10
8
2
Wolaitta Dicha
15
8
3
Fasil Kenema
16
7
4
Ethiopia Bunna
11
6
5
Kidus Giorgis
13
6
6
13
6
7
14
6
8
Adama Ketema
15
6
9
Diredawa Ketema
15
6
10
Ethiopia Nigd Bank
15
5

2023/24 Competitions

competition logo
CAF Champions League
competition logo
CAF Confederation Cup
competition logo
Ethiopian Cup
competition logo
Ethiopian Higher League
competition logo
Ethiopian League 1
competition logo
Ethiopian Premier League
competition logo
Ethiopian U-20 Premier League
competition logo
Ethiopian Women's Higher League
competition logo
Ethiopian Womens Premier League
P