Saturday 8th October had a day all of us in Uganda had been looking for to in nervous anticipation. The reason? The last match of the qualifying for the 2012 African Nations, with Uganda needing a win (a draw could do? if Angola didn't win!). Who were they playing...Kenya! A local derby with so much at stake, i love football.
Uganda have not been to an African nations for 30 years, so surely this was the time?
Judith, Joel and me went, (like being back in South africa). We dressed and set off, fairly early as we knew it would be pretty busy, kick off was at 5pm so we left at 1pm....as we got closer to the ground, there were cars parked everywhere so following the crowd we turned up a dirt road and deposited the car and went the rest of the way on foot.
The colour and noise was stunning, i don't know if i have ever been anywhere noisier, we joined the never ending queue to get and after not moving for seemingly hours, we gave up and wandered round to another entrance where we got easily. It was 2:45pm so we thought we go up and find a seat and then maybe get a drink etc...as we found the section of the stadium we were in, it was totally full except for the back two rows, (2 hours before kick off) which we quickly grabbed and settled down to a long wait and the pre match entertainment! As we waited for kick off, people kept coming in, though we were already full. In the end it was 2 to a seat, all the stairwells and passageways were full, so we were stuck in our seat until the end.
The game was fantastic, with Uganda piling on pressure for most of it, desperately searching for the 1 goal they would need....as the 2nd half progressed, everyone knew in the stadium that Angola had won and so Uganda needed a goal, and so for the last 20 mins Uganda threw everything at the Kenya goal, but the ball would just not enter the net....at the final whistle the Ugandan players sank to the turf while the kenyan players celebrated stopping their neighbours getting to the finals....Disappointing but what a day, great fun and everyone should experience watching a football match in Africa, nothing like it....and of course there is always next time!!