Ask Abdallah Mubiru’s young Uganda Cranes charges what they remember from the first international game they watched and it would be unsurprising to hear them recall the 2006 Afcon/World Cup qualifying campaign.
On Thursday when they face South Africa in an international friendly at the Orlando Stadium, they will not be far from the ground – FNB stadium in Johannesburg that will have only existed as dark cloud in their memories in 2005.
Uganda were edged by the Bafana Bafana 2-1, 16 years ago on match day six to all but end any hopes of qualification.
Glorious careers were launched, but a few others were nearly cut down.
It was on March 26, 2005 when the Cranes visited seeking to avenge a first leg defeat suffered at Mandela National stadium, Namboole when Benni McCarthy scored from a penalty to condemn Uganda to a home defeat on October 10, 2004.
At the FNB, Fortune scored from the penalty again to give the hosts the lead in the 19th minute before David Obua who was having an awesome game equalised in the 62nd minute via the same currency.
But Pienaar restored the Bafana Bafana lead nine minutes later and that was to be the winning goal.
The impressive performance by Obua earned him a move to Kaizer Chiefs from Express FC but it wasn’t only him that moved to PSL then.
Defender Timothy Batabaire and goalkeeper Posnet Omwony were also spotted and signed by Bloemfontein Celtic.
The Cranes didn’t win but at least three players got deals in PSL for their marvellous performances.
Despite being only a friendly game, Mubiru and his players will be hoping for a better outcome on Thursday.
Uganda: Posnet Omwony (GK), Timothy Batabaire, Sulaiman Tenywa Bonseu (David Kalungi 76’), Joseph Nestroy Kizito, Simeon Masaba, Ibrahim Sekagya, David Obua, Hassan Mubiru, Emmanuel Balyejusa, Dan Obote (Johnson Bagoole 90+1) and Geoffrey Sserunkuma (Lawrence Segawa 87’)
Goals: Obua 62’ (P)
Bookings: Tenywa 55’
South Africa: Hans Vonk (GK), Nasief Morris, Thabiso Rammile, Aaron Makoena, Cyril Nzama, Quintone Fortune, Steven Pienaar (Elrio Van Heerden), Benedict Vilakazi (Siyabonga Siphika 88’), Shaun Bartlet, Delron Buckley, Sibusizo Zuma (Benni McCarthy 76’)
Goals: Fortune 19’ (P), Pienaar 71’
Referee: Chukwudi Chukwujekwu (Nigeria)