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From John Bennett & Harry Poole
Not every driving teacher can claim to have been a part of a few of the biggest upsets in international football’s history.
However, that’s part of a week’s work.
Well, not very.
Thursday was no ordinary night for its Somalia national team, as a remarkable victory was listed by the side positioned 202nd from 211 from the Fifa rankings in World Cup qualifying.
A stunning 86th-minute winner sparked jubilant celebrations as the Ocean Stars – the lowest-ranked team in African soccer – stunned a Zimbabwe team rated 90 places from the first leg of the preliminary round game in Djibouti.
National League North participant Ali, who owns a driving school in Manchesterand the match, played with at while his brother Ahmed captained the side and supplied the help of the winning target.
“I told my students that I’d be going off to play international football,” explained Mohamud, 25. “Obviously they wanted to keep their course but they were absolutely delighted for me personally and that I assured them I’d be back really soon.
“The service has been amazing. We were trending on Twitter worldwide. It’s a giant-killing once you think about it. They were also both the highest-ranked team playing in the preliminary round and we were the smallest.
“Nobody expected us to win and if we do manage to get through to the group stage that would be an incredible achievement. But it’s already gone down in history.”
Heading into Thursday Somalia hadn’t won a match for 35 years – or really a fixture of any type since January 2009.
Suffering a 27-match winless beaten 6-0 in exactly the identical point of World Cup qualifying four years back by Niger, and streak because that victory against Tanzania, there was little sense of an angry.
The function as a driving instructor of mohamud, whose, believes the result has made the sacrifices to become a footballer worthwhile.
The defender said:”It was very emotional, very emotional, only knowing that countless people would be seeing the match in each and every corner of earth. This help was given by my brother and we only had a moment hugging to the pitch.
“Our parents had been born in Somalia and are delighted that we’ve performed for the nation on such a huge stage. We just need to keep on making history with this group.”
His brother and skipper Ahmed added:”As soon as the final whistle was blown off I understood this was world news. It awakened in immediately.
“We were joking that in the event that you take a close take a look at our past results all you see is a reddish’L’ alongside all the scores but now we’ve got a green’W’ and long will that continue.”
The initial leg, a’home’ tie to the Ocean Stars, was rather played in neighbouring Djibouti due to the unstable security situation in Somalia – but that the result went from unnoticed as Fifa matched the match on its own website along with also the lowly team trended internationally on social media.
And, with the next leg on Tuesday along with the possibility of an almost unthinkable initial appearance from the group stages of World Cup qualification 90 minutes away, the president of Somalia has already invited the group.
“Apparently the scenes back home are incredible, so if people do go back after the next leg the reception would be unbelievable,” said Mohamud.
“Today Zimbabwe know what we’re about they will have to prepare for this game but we are in a powerful position.
“We’ve made history but we’re not done here. We know there’s a whole good deal more to come . So we’ll go there and fancy ourselves.”
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