FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Ethiopia 2 South Africa 1
By Football News
Ethiopia are through to the final round of CAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after a 2-1 win over South Africa on Sunday.
South Africa striker Bernard Parker went from hero to zero at the Addis Ababa Stadium in the Ethiopian capital, opening the scoring in the 32nd minute, but turning into his own net in the second half to knock his nation out of contention for next year's tournament in Brazil.
The Kaizer Chiefs man's contributions came either side of a goal from Ethiopia starlet Getaneh Kebede, after some disastrous defending from Gordon Igesund's side.
After a tense end-to-end opening 30 minutes, Parker gave his side hope of overtaking Ethiopia at the top of Group A, latching onto a long ball into the left channel and controlling a fine volley past Jemal Tassew and into the far corner from 15 yards.
Midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane should have doubled the advantage in the 40th minute, but could only shoot straight at Tassew from 12 yards, and he was punished just three minutes later.
South Africa complete failed to deal with a cross from the right, and after the ball popped out of an almighty scramble in the penalty area, Kebede kept his cool to dispatch his eighth international goal past Itumeleng Khune.
The visitors threw everything forward after the break, but they were the makers of their own downfall as Parker once again found the net, but this time at the wrong end, putting a miscued header past Khune and gifting Ethiopia the win.
Igesund introduced strikers Tokelo Rantie and Katlego Mashego in a desperate attempt for goals, but they could not find a way through and are unable to advance into the next round of qualifying, where Ethiopia will instead face a two-legged tie against another group winner for a spot at the World Cup.