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Uganda: Excitement as Cranes Edge Closer to African Nations Cup

Uganda is closing in on making a historic comeback to the Africa Nations Cup tournament. The country last qualified for the biggest continental stage in 1978. The Uganda Cranes have come close thanks to a 2-0 victory over Guinea Bissau in Kampala on Saturday June 4, 2011.

Uganda is on top of the group with 10 points and with Angola beating Kenya over the weekend, Uganda now needs just one point to make it to 2012 tournament that will be hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Uganda edged out the west Africans through goals by Godfrey Walusimbi and Geoffrey Massa goals in either half, a moment that sent thousands in the country in celebration.

Widespread support

Ugandans were all out to support their team, the game was watched by over 50,000 fans at the Mandela National Stadium. Just like many events in the last few months, Ugandans took to Twitter to talk about the game, many tweeting live from the stadium.

Under the hashtag #Ugandafootball and #Afcon (Africa cup of nations) many Ugandans expressed their enthusiasm ahead of the game in the home stadium that few teams have managed to snatch a win.

@Rugyendo asked where he could paint his face in the national colours ahead of the game:

I need to paint my face for the Cranes. Any clues? #UgandaFootball

@BillyByarugaba reported on the mood in the city ahead of the game:

Kampala city is so ecstatic!!! I love the hype to this match bt Uganda has to win, with this support #ugandafootball


@Mugumya indicated
that the tickets were sold out:

FUFA printed only 46000 tickets. And all were sold out and I have mine in my pocket. hahaha #wegowego #ugandafootbal we gol

Over 50,000 fans watched the game at the Mandela National Stadium. Photo courtesy of Twitter user @mugumya.

Over 50,000 fans watched the game at the Mandela National Stadium. Photo courtesy of Twitter user @mugumya.

@enamara reported live from the stadium:

Tweeting live from Namboole, Proudly Ugandan. So many people, mood is great. #WeGoWeGo #UgandaFootball

Talk of superstition, @mugumya posted a picture of a dark cloud over the stadium hinting it could be a bad luck sign for the visitors:

We go, we go! The dark clouds over Namboole are usually a bad sign for visiting team! #UgandaFootball we go! http://twitpic.com/56ab87

@sakika who was watching the game on television had no kind words for the national broadcaster (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) for poor commentary:

UBC is so hopeless. So much for live broadcast of the match.The commentary is pathetic #Ugandafootball #cranes #wegowego #ugcranes #epicfail

Talking of politics and sports, the Democratic Party president Norbert Mao who together with Forum for Democratic Change leader Dr.Kizza Besigye have been at helm of walk to work protests attended the match. Mao offered 1 million Ugandan Shilings for the scorer of the first goal.

@andykristian pointed
out Mao’s love for football:

@NorbertMao is at Nambole in the thick of things watching #UgandaCranes. Now you know the president that loves sports, huh? #UgandaFootball

The disappointment of the night came from Uganda’s striker David Obua who threw his jersey after being substituted. Obua, who plays in the Scottish Premier League club Hearts, got harsh reactions.

@mumakeith had no kind words:

How dare u throw a Ugandan jersery down? #Obua #wegowego #ugandacranes

@b_guilbert indicated that he would be unfollowing Obua on Twitter for his behavior.

However, @snottyganda said all great players have bad moments and there was no need to insult Obua for throwing his jersey:

@Rugyendo Even football gr8s hve made mistakes Beckam,Rooney Lampard ronaldinho but we dont call them terrorists @RosebellK

@ntvuganda posted a link to a video highlighting magical moments at Mandela National Stadium.

@RedPepperUG reported that people celebrated the whole night:

It was jubilation all night in all towns in Uganda as Cranes shaft Guinea Bissau! http://bit.ly/kyC1TH #ugandafootball #wegowego

This was the day that many people in the country were proud to be Ugandans:

@Ajstream @mtnugandacare @Rosebellk This was e only day dat so many ug'dans had all reasons 2be proudly Ugd http://twitpic.com/57orpu

Echwalu captured the moment in photos.

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