Ethiopia head coach Webetu Abate has named a 25-man squad for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bafana Bafana with a former PSL star carrying hopes of the nation.
Following their 1-0 win over Zimbabwe earlier this month when Aschalew Tamene netted a stoppage-time penalty at the Bahir Dar Stadium, there's been growing optimism amongst the squad.
The Warriors have since sacked head coach Zdravko Logarušić while fellow Group G opposition Ghana also parted ways with Charles Akonnor with Norman Mapeza and Milovan Rajevac the respective successors.
With Bafana Bafana at the summit with four points from two games following the win over the Black Stars, Abate and his troops will be aiming to throw a spanner in the works.
However, they will have to make do without forward Mujib Kassim, who has been asked to be left out in order to complete his move to Algerian outfit JS Kabylie.
And with BetKing Ethiopia Player of the Season Abubaker Nasir nursing an injury, the responsibilities will now fall mainly on former Bidvest Wits striker Getaneh Kebede.
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The 29-year-old who spent three years in South Africa with Wits and AmaTuks respectively is the nation's all-time top scorer with 31 goals.
During his stint in the South African top-flight, he scored 13 goals and registered seven assists in 56 games.
Captain Shimeles Bekele is the only player in the squad based outside of Ethiopia, with the playmaker featuring in the Egyptian Premier League with El Gouna.
Ethiopia will host Hugo Broos' side on 5 October before the return fixture at FNB Stadium four days later.
Ethiopia 25-man squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Teklemariam Shanko, Jemal Tasew, Fasil Michael
Defenders: Asrat Tunjo. Suleman Hamid, Ramadan Yusuf, Desta Yohannes, Yared Bayeh, Aschlew Tamene, Mignot Debebe, Menaf Awol
Midfielders: Amanuel Yohannes, Yihun Endeshaw, Gatoch Panom, Mesud Mohammod, Surafel Dagnachew, Tafese Solomon, Shimket Gugsa, Shimeles Bekele.
Forwards: Amanuel Michael, Getaneh Kebede, Abel Yalew, Chernet Gugsa, Mesfin Tafesse, Abubaker Nasir.
Image: Tikvah Sport