Today marks exactly nine years since Uganda Cranes drew goalless with rivals Kenya Harambee Stars at Mandela National stadium, Namboole in the 2012 Afcon qualifiers.
The Cranes needed an outright victory to end a jinx that had seen the team miss Afcon finals since reaching the finals in 1978.
It remains one of the darkest days in Ugandan football as Angola qualified at the expense of The Cranes who had led the Group from match day one.
Let’s look at the team that played on the day and where they are now.
Denis Onyango: The goalkeeper didn’t have much to do as Kenya rarely threatened in attack on the day but had to move off the line to close in on Dennis Oliech who was through on goal.
He is still at Mamelodi Sundowns which he had just joined a few months before this game.
Simeon Masaba: The right back has since retired from the beautiful game and ventured into coaching. He has coached at URA and Onduparaka among others.
Nestroy Kizito: The silky left back announced his retirement from international football after this game. In an interview with Kawowo Sports early this year, Kizito described this day as the ‘worst in his entire football career’.
He is currently one of the coaches at SC Villa.
Andy Mwesigwa: The future Cranes captain started at the heart of defence alongside skipper Sekagya on the day. Like all the defensive line on the day, Mwesigwa retired from the game but not immediately.
He carried on until the 2015 Afcon qualifiers. He is currently in the country; owns a soccer academy and a secondary school in Wakiso.
Ibrahim Ssekagya: Like Kizito, Mwesigwa announced retirement from international football after this failed campaign. Arguably Uganda’s biggest export in football, he is part of coaching staff at New York Redbulls in USA.
Tonny Mawejje: The midfielder was playing for IBV Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland then. He later moved to Golden Arrows in SA, Haugesund and later Albania where he featured for KF Tirana. The midfielder is currently back in the country and signed for Police FC.
Musa Mudde: Mudde was Bobby Williamson’s partner for Mawejje in the centre of the pack. The last time he played was in India where he featured for Mohammedan Sporting Club and could be he is still in India.
Vincent Kayizzi: The winger started on the right flank on the day before he made way for Moses Oloya in the second half. He retired from international football but plays for Kyetume FC in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.
Mike Sserumaga: One of the most technically gifted players on the team on the day. Sserumaga was featuring for St. George in Ethiopia then. He has since unofficially retired from the game after featuring for Proline, SC Victoria University, Lweza and SC Villa.
Brian Umony: “Everybody sat there. Every player was quiet and very disappointed. No talking but in between moments, coaches Bobby and Jackson Mayanja could tell us to take it easy, it wasn’t our day but the room was silent.” That’s how Umony who started the game in the place of suspended David Obua described the mood in the dressing room after the game. The once promising forward got an injury that hindered his career development. He returned to the beautiful game last year and featured for Proline FC in the recent UPL campaign.
Geoffrey Massa: The Cranes lead striker for several campaigns until he retired after the 2017 Afcon finals. He is currently one of the Uganda Cranes Team Managers.
Moses Oloya: The winger still plays in Vietnam but has since been side-lined on the Uganda National football team without a valid reason despite his impressive performance with Ha Noi.
Mike Mutyaba: He was the youngest member on the squad. Mutyaba replaced Sserumaga in the second half and nearly gave the Cranes that much needed strike.
He announced his second retirement from the game after playing for KCCA last season.
Geoffrey Sserunkuma: A fox in the box. Sserunkuma came in for Massa in the second half. The striker still plays and was part of the Wakiso Giants team last season in their maiden campaign in the top flight.
Unused Substitutes: Abel Dhaira (GK), Hassan Wasswa, Godfrey Walusimbi and Robert Ssentongo
Bobby Williamson: The most successful coach in Uganda’s CECAFA history but failed to deliver the team to the Promised Land. Williamson was relieved of his duties in 2013, went to Kenya where he won the KPL with Gor Mahia and also managed the Harambee Stars. He was diagnosed with cancer but is back on his feet and still lives in Nairobi, Kenya.