Anyone who knows me knows that football (soccer) has never really been my thing. I was the kid in Timbits who never scored and only did it because my dad was the coach. But when you live in Africa, you start gain an appreciation for the popular sport, and because of the match I watched Sunday I can finally say that I actually like football.
Sunday’s match was a World Cup qualifying match between Ethiopia and South Africa – a huge game because if Ethiopia won, then they would definitely move forward. So, a friend I had made at my guest house and I decided to go to the stadium to watch the game live. Let me tell you, even just getting tickets was an adventure all on its own! But we managed, and were ready to watch the game.
It was a great match, with South Africa scoring first and Ethiopia scoring just before half. Then, a SA player headed the ball into his own net after an Ethiopian free kick, and Ethiopia won the game 2-1. The mood at the stadium was insane! Everyone was going crazy. We went outside and made our way to the VIP area to see the players coming out. Since I am so obviously foreign and I was wearing and Ethiopian jersey, I was getting a LOT of attention. So much attention that a reporter approached me for an interview for national TV! I have tried really hard to find it online, but no luck so far.
Then, my friend (who is South African) had made friends with some other South African friends and got us invited to a reception at the South African Embassy. So, I replaced my Ethiopia t-shirt and we mingled and ate good food at the party – I did not realized how much I missed pap and chakalaka until I had it again!
All in all – a very wonderful day.
Unfortunately, Ethiopia used an ineligible player in a match against Botswana and so loses the 3 points they had against Bots. This means that they need to win their next match to move forward.