Zambia 1 Ethiopia 1: Champions stall in opener as they throw away half-time lead
winners after he raced onto a through ball, beating the defence and fired his half-volley into the bottom corner, but it was all-square when Ethiopia's captain Adane Girma found the net at the near post.
Bizarrely, Tassew saw red while being taken off on a stretcher, after haring out to the ball and flattening Zambia's Chisamba Lungu a full 40 yards from his goal.
Belter: Zambia's Collins Mbesuma (green) fires past Ethiopia keeper Zerihun Tadelle for the opener
Crucial: Zambia's keeper Kennedy Mweene dives to save a penalty kick from Ethiopia's Saladin Said
Nkausa, Himoonda, Sunzu, Musonda (Jacob Mulenga), Sinkala, Lungu,
Chansa (Mukuka Mulenga), Kalaba, Mbesuma, Christopher Katongo (Mayuka).
Goal: Mbesuma 45
Ethiopia: Tassew, Bune, Elias, Hailu, Tesfaye, Bekele (Tadele), Megersa, Adane Girma, Teshome, Kebede (Hintsa), Said.
Goal: Girma 65
Red Card: Tassew 37
Tassew's sending off caused an
11-minute delay as the Group C match descended into near chaos with
angry Ethiopian fans throwing bottles and vuvuzelas on to the pitch.
They were already upset after their
key player Saladin Seid missed a penalty in the 25th minute having
already been deprived of an earlier goal when the ball bounced over an
open goal on the hard surface.
Ethiopia made a bright start to their
first game in the finals for 31 years and midfielder Minyahile Teshone
should have put them ahead after four minutes but somehow hooked a great
chance over the crossbar.
In the 17th minute Zambia keeper
Kennedy Mweene was caught out and the ball fell to Seid who found
himself with an open goal but his hooked shot towards the gaping net
bizarrely bounced over the bar.
What a following! Ethiopian came in their numbers to the Mbombela Stadium
Seid had another chance to score eight
minutes later when Gabon referee Otogo Castane awarded Ethipoia a
penalty after Lungu fouled Seid, but Mweene easily saved his poor kick.
The game then took an unedifying turn
after 32 minutes when Tassew raced out of his goal and poleaxed Chisamba
Lungu with a reckless tackle which evoked memories of the infamous foul
West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher performed on France's Patrick
Battiston in the 1982 World Cup semi-final.
Off: Ethiopia's keeper Jemal Tassew is carried off after receiving a red card for his outrageous foul
After an 11-minute stoppage allowing
treatment to the goalkeeper, the referee waited until Tassew was on the
stretcher before showing him a red card – provoking the Ethiopian fans
to throw missiles on the pitch and an official to run on the field and
remonstrate with the referee.
Just to add to the mayhem a jet fighter buzzed the stadium before order was finally restored.
Apart from Tassew's rash attack, and
some panicky moments in defence, Ethiopia played some neat football
against the champions who paid for not taking their chances.
Important: Ethiopia's Adane Girma celebrates his equalising goal
Playing the ball: Zambia's Chisamba Lungu is challenged by Ethiopia's captain Adane Girma