On November 15, 2017, Geoffrey Massa scored against Togo in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as The Cranes won 3-0 at Namboole to reach the group stages.
Neither Massa nor anyone else thought this would be his last goal in the national team jersey as he went on to serve the national team till the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon early this year.
Earlier in June, 2015, the striker had broken the record for most goals for Uganda in FIFA World Cup and AFCON qualifiers with a strike against Botswana.
He has already broken a number of records in the game including skippering the Cranes to AFCON finals after 39 years absence and also joining a list of Honourable team captains.
Looking back over his career unlocks a treasure trove of memorable goals and moments in national colours, and Kawowo Sports’ Ismael Kiyonga thought there was no better time to take a look inside on his Cranes goals.
A brace against Lesotho
Massa’s first two goals in the qualification campaigns came on September 6, 2006 against Lesotho.
Playing in Egypt then, the forward sent the packed Namboole stands into frenzy with two fantastic goals to open the 2008 AFCON qualifiers with maximum points.
Ends a two year wait with another brace
It took the forward two years to net again for the national team as he scored twice against Benin on October 12, 2008.
That was in the FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifiers that also acted as the qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2010.
Sealed victory against Guinea Bissau
His wait for another goal took nearly three years. The goal came on June 11, 2011 when he scored against Guinea Bissau in the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers.
That game is more remembered for David Obua throwing the Cranes jersey in anger after coming off. It was Obua that assisted Massa’s goal on the day.
Massa the net buster
Arguably his most memorable goal. Against a demotivated Congo Brazzaville side that had won 3-1 in Brazzaville in the first leg, Massa was among the goals as Uganda overturned deficit with a 4-0 win and the forward tore the net with his scorching shot to send the crowd wild.
The crucial winners against Zambia and Madagascar
Now, goals had started to come with consistency and the one against Zambia nearly took the Cranes back to the Promised Land.
The Chipolopolo had won 1-0 in Ndola in the qualification for 2013 AFCON but inside just four minutes, Massa had levelled matters.
The game went to penalties were Uganda lost but Massa had played his role.
His goal against Madagascar also took the Cranes to the group stages of the 2015 AFCON qualifiers and also the one against Mauritania.
- SUMMARY OF MASSA’S GOALS:
- 2 Vs Lesotho (2008 Afcon qualifiers) 2 September, 2006
- 2 Vs Benin (2010 WC and Afcon qualifiers) 12 October 2008
- 1 Vs Guinea Bissau (2012 Afcon qualifiers) June 11 2011
- 1 Vs Congo (2013 Afcon qualifiers) 16 June 2012
- 1 Vs Zambia (2013 Afcon qualifiers) 13 October 2012
- 1 Vs Madagascar (2015 Afcon qualifier) 31 May 2014
- 1 Vs Mauritania (2015 Afcon qualifier) 19 July 2014
- 2 Vs Guinea (2015 Afcon qualifiers) 10, September 2014
- 1 Vs Botswana (2017 Afcon qualifiers) June 13, 2015
- 1 Vs Togo (2018 WC Qualifiers) 15, November 2015
His final brace
In his national team career in the qualifiers, he hit three braces and his last came on September 10, 2014 against Guinea.
Both goals were typical Massa – The first a good chest control before unleashing a shot past Yattara in Guinea’s goal and the second; a beauty – Luwagga slides through a brilliant pass, one-touch control from The Cranes number 11 and in a split second shoots into roof of the net to send the crowd at Namboole into frenzy.
Goal against Botswana set 2017 successful campaign rolling
For the first time since 1978, Uganda played at the AFCON finals in 2017. Massa was captain and if you didn’t know, he scored the first goal of the qualifiers to set the ball rolling.
Last goal for Uganda
Massa’s final goal in the Uganda Cranes colours came more than a year ago before his decision to retire.
That strike against Togo at Namboole – the venue for all his goals in the campaigns.