Ethiopia will join the party for the second round of 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers following their 1-1 draw against Benin in Cotonou on Sunday.
The in-form Benin squad had been expected to seal the deal in Cotonou, only to encounter a solid Ethiopian side confident in its ability to make the grade for the second round of qualifiers, as they did in 2014 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa (1-1) and Central Africa (2-0).
After a goalless draw in the first leg of qualifiers in Addis Ababa, victory was the Squirrels' only option, as another draw would mean Ethiopia's qualification.
Razak Omotoyossi's and Stephane Sessegnon's side was the one to attack, and, after missing a few chances, Mickaël Poté found the back of the net from close range following a beautiful pass from his teammate. The striker only had to push the ball under the Ethiopian keeper to bring the score to 1-0 at the 18th minute.
Only two minutes before the end of the first half, a missed shot turned into an assist for Adane Girma, whose shot from the penalty spot was good enough to beat the Benin goalkeeper and put the two teams back at a tie.
In the second half, Ethiopia managed to maintain its defences, countering all of Benin's chances to end the game at a 1-1 draw and qualify for the second round of the qualifiers for South Africa next January.
Ethiopia's last appearance at the CAN was in Libya in 1982, where they were eliminated in the first round, failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
Teams that will take part in the second round of the 2013 CAN qualifiers include:
Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Togo, Sierra-Leone, Cameroon, Malawi, DR Congo, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Liberia, along with the winner of the second leg between CAR and Egypt (ended 2-3 in Cairo).
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