Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Giorgis face KMKM while Baherdar hosts Azam in CAF Cups preliminary round

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Twice defending Ethiopian Premier League champions Kidus Giorgis handed a relatively unknown side KMKM of Zanzibar in its preliminary qualification round. But it is the continent’s giant Al-Ahly waiting at the first round fixtures. International fixtures debutant Baherdar Ketema is paired with East African string side Azam FC of Tanzania.
Being among the very few sides of the continent that took part in more than twelve CAF Champions League fixtures, Giorgis could easily go past KMKM. But facing the 11 time Champions League title holder Al-Ahly in the first round qualification is a completely different story.
Some star players including top striker Ouro-Agoro, striker Shimeles Gugsa and Amanuel G/ Kidan parted ways, Coach Zarihun Shengeta might face a huge challenge of building a strong squad. Considering the time constraint it is hard to expect something new from the club for the first leg home match is 18-20 August.
In Confederation Cup preliminary round qualification matches, newcomer Baherdar faces Azam FC. Both the club and Coach Degarege Yigzaw are new to international fixtures and a huge effort is expected to burst out of the squad in order to get past the Tanzanian Premier League former champions that also finished third this season.
Degarege’s early move to sign star players the likes of Ferew Solomon and Cherenet Gugsa shows that “The Blue Waves” are in a huge build-up of their squad. But not yet having enough time to mix the team and hard to be sure of having a home venue, Baherdar could face a difficult time in its first ever international fixture. The first leg home clash takes place August 18-20 with the return leg a week later.

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