Bafana to vanquish Ethiopia demons

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Bafana Bafana have been given a harsh reminder of the threat posed by potential banana skin Ethiopia ahead of a World Cup qualifying double-header.

Bafana travel to Bahir Dar Stadium in Bahir Dar, northern Ethiopia to meet the hosts in the third Group G match on Saturday with a point separating the two teams.

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The last time the two sides met proved disastrous for Bafana with a 2-1 defeat in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Getaneh Kebede and an own goal by Bernard Parker gave the Ethiopians the win, while the return leg in Rustenburg ended as a 1-1 draw with The Wailas ultimately topping the group.

"The team is preparing with the intention of getting points from these two games against South Africa because we are still in with a chance," Fikru tells KickOff.com.

"Remember South Africa is just a point ahead of us with four games remaining, so we have everything to play for especially in the home game.

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"The plan is to win the first game at home and then try and squeeze whatever we can in the return leg in South Africa like we did last time. Getting three points at home is non-negotiable for us because we know how much home ground counts.

"This is football and we are playing to win. South Africa is no different to us because they have four points, and we have three. It could be difficult to declare who will win but the home team carries the advantage, and we want three points from this one as we did against Zimbabwe."

Fikru added that the two sides were closer in quality than many may think and play a similar brand of football.

"Listen, Bafana play the same way as Ethiopia because we also play it on the ground and know how to knock it around. It will be an interesting match because both sides have good players. We are playing good football so I'm hoping for a good match with my country winning because I want us to qualify for the World Cup for the first time ever," Fikru added.

"We have all our players called up available including the captain Getaneh. The country needs a result and I know the players will deliver especially those tasked with scoring goals like Getaneh and Abubeker Nassir. We are looking forward to this game here and we want to make it count."

Fikru started out in the PSL with Orlando Pirates before featuring at SuperSport United in a career that saw him feature for South African teams such as the University of Pretoria, Free State Stars, Milano United, Bidvest Wits and Highlands Park.

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