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Friday, February 13, 2015

Sidama Coffee remain on top of the Ethiopian Premier League football club competition at the end of the first round on 27 points from 13 games. This is a very excellent achievement for Sidama Coffee.
This year the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State has four representatives in the league; the leaders Sidama Coffee, Wolayita Dicha, Arba Minch City and Hawassa City. Addis Ababa takes the lions share with six; St. George, Coffee, Electric, Banks, Mekelakeya and Dedebit. The Amhara and Oromia states have equal two representatives; Dashen Brewery, Woldiya City and Adama City and Muger Cements, respectively.
St. George had the possibility to overtake the top spot if they had collected the full three points in their away remaining match against Wolayta Dicha on Sunday but it was not to be so as the game ended in a goalless tie. As a result St. George finished the first round taking the second place on 25 points while Wolayita Dicha moved up to the third place on 22 points. The 1-0 defeat of Coffee by Electric helped Wolayita Dicha to go one ladder up in the table.
By contrast with the defeat Coffee went one ladder down to take the fourth place on 21 points while winners Electric jumped to 8th place from 12th on 17 points from 13 games.
The difference in this season is that two teams from the top four belong to the SNNPS. Both Sidama Coffee and Wolayita Dicha performed well in the first round. Of course the challenges that they are facing in the second round are likely to be immense. The first challenge is that all other clubs take serious consideration before they meet them. Sidama Coffee had most the first round on their home ground. That means in the second round they will face the strong contenders as visiting side. For instance both Sidama Coffee and Wolayita Dicha will meet St. George in Addis Ababa.
What was witnessed in the first round was that both sides, Sidama and Dicha, had shown strength to collect points even in their away matches. If things continue this way the season’s trophy is highly likely to go to the South for the third time.
In the Premier League 17-year history the southern side Hawassa had lifted the trophy two times. Hawassa are the only side to snatch the trophy outside of the Addis. So far St. George earned a record ten times while Electric collected two times. Coffee and Dedebit each had won once to make the total Addis sides tally to 14. If the side from the south succeed this season it will be the third in 17 years.
The sad part is that the two-time champions Hawassa City are languishing in the relegation zone this season on 10 points from 13 games. Many thought that Hawassa would revive by collecting the full three points by winning over the visiting side Dedebit on Sunday but they rather conceded a 2-0 defeat. That result sinks them further to the bottom. They are now 13th from 14 league clubs.
The fourth Southern side Arba Minch stand 6th on 19 points. Though they have equal 19 points with the 5th placed Adama City they are separated with goal difference. This shows that the results of the South sides are mixed: the results of the top two are pretty excellent. The performance of Arba Minch is vacillating in the middle while Hawassa’s performance is poor.
The same is true for Addis sides. Defending champions St. George are closing in on the gap with the league leaders. This can be seen as a good result. Coffee are also faring well. They are fourth with just a point difference. The other four occupy from the 7th to the ninth place. Dedebit stand 7th on 18 points thanks to the Sunday 2-0 win over Hawassa. The same is true for Electric who jumped to the 8th place on 17 points following the 1-0 win over Coffee. Mekelakeya had an excellent performance at the initial stage. They stayed on top of the table for a while until they were outpaced by Sidama Coffee. Banks and Mekelakeya are now stand below the table.
Adama City who rejoined the elite league this season managed to collect 19 points to stand 5th in the table. If they continue this way their survival in the elite league is assured. But the other Oromia side Muger Cements are not faring well. They stand 12th on 13 points.
The Amhara State side Dashen Brewery stand 11th on 16 points. Well compared to the other Amhara side Woldiya City who remained the bottom side all through the results of Dashen could be said encouraging.
The points so far collected are close with each other. The top four sides are separated by six points. The leader and the second placed have only two points difference. In the middle two clubs have equal 19 points while two have 18 and 17 points. Three clubs have equal 16 points.
What does this show? The results of a single match will change the standings. The leaders earned only 27 out of the possible 39. The bottom side dropped 34 points from 39. This is extremely poor showing.