Mbarara Fans Heap Praises on Cranes Despite Loss

1402 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
Football fans in Mbarara Municipality have heaped praises on the national team, The Uganda Cranes, despite losing 1-0 to Ghana in their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon match.

Football fans in Mbarara Municipality have heaped praises on the national team, The Uganda Cranes, despite losing 1-0 to Ghana in their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) match.

Returning to the continental elite football for the first time in almost 40 years, many local fans had a lot of expectations as The Cranes players walked into Stade de Port Gentil, in the Gabonese port city of Port Gentil.

But the Black Stars of Ghana scored in the 31st minute through a penalty converted by Andre Ayew to win the Group D opening match leaving the Cranes bottom of the Group.

Despite the loss, however, fans in Mbarara Municipality say the Cranes matched their opponents most of the time and did create their own goal scoring chances.

One of the fans, Frolence Kukundakwe told our reporter that the team worked hard but that luck was not on their side.

Julius Kagurusi, another sports fan says the loss is not a problem since the Uganda Cranes were brilliant and managed to put the Ghanaian team on pressure especially in the second half. He feels that it is time for the Cranes to direct their attention to the next match against Egypt in three days' time.

Janath Muhawe, another football fan says that the Uganda Cranes have a chance of upsetting Egypt. The Pharaohs played out a goalless draw with Mali in the other Group D game.

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Hundreds of football fans gathered in different places to watch the Uganda-Ghana match.
Many of the fans gathered at Mbarara Independence Park to watch the match on giant screens courtesy of Nile Breweries and Airtel Uganda.

The presence of police did not go unnoticed as they deployed forces in uniform and others in civilian wear in different places of Mbarara town. Ibin Senkumbi, the Rwizi regional police spokesperson, says that this was aimed at ensuring that people with ill-intentions do not take advantage of the excitement.

During the July 11, 2010 World Cup finals, three explosions went off in Lugogo Rugby Grounds and Ethiopian Restaurant in Kabalagala killing at least 70 people and injuring hundreds.
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About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.