Saturday, September 15, 2007

Go Senegal Go!

Saturday September 8th. The big match. Senegal vs. Burkina Faso in the final qualifying game for the Afican Soccer Cup. If Senegal wins, they're in!
Guess how much tickets were? less than $3. Amazing. The Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium (named after Senegal's first president) was almost full. The atmosphere was amazing. But first, let me tell you about the entry.

The game started at 5pm. We got there at 4:20pm and the lineup was maybe 2km long, for people who already had their tickets. Police officers on horseback and with unloaded guns and some tube-like thing to whip with run up and down the line making sure no one sneaks in. Everyone who is not already in line stands around the line, hoping to sneak in when the officers aren't looking. If they get caught, they get dragged out, only to try again two minutes later. It's quite entertaining actually. We snuck in with some friends before the police got really vigilant, so we made it in before the start of the game.

The stadium was not much smaller than the Corel Centre, although with less levels, and people were hyped! There were people in the crowd with drums and whistles. There was dancing, of course. And there were people selling things in the stands - just like at the Corel Centre- except instead of popcorn and nachos and beer it was water and cigarettes and peanuts - oh, and this wonderful slush type thing, basically a banana/coconut smoothie, frozen. Except they sell everything in plastic bags. You cut a whole in the bag with your teeth and suck out the wonderful snack!

Senegal ended up winning 5-1. Great game, everytime they scored, the whole crowded roared. They've got the wave down here too! And I find there's serious serious pride for the player. El Hadj Diouf is the star. They call him the Senegalese Ronaldhino. He has amazing ball control and sets up almost every goal. Then there's Henri Camara, the star forward. He didn't play the first half because of an injury and when the second half started, everyone started chanting "Henri! Henri!" to get him on the field. The moment he and another player were subbed in, the tide totally turned. From 1-1 to 5-1 !!!

Anyways, the African Cup starts in January. I should be in Egypt at that time. May I remind everyone that EGYPT eliminated Senegal from the last African Cup in the semi-finals and went on to win the whole thing. Sure, I'll cheer for Senegal, but as soon as Egypt and Senegal go head to head, my allegiance changes!

1 comment:

Kamal Shaath said...

Hummm what would happen if Canada was playing Egypt ?????

No need to answer... I have Egyptian friends... and it is just in thier blood.
It is nice to see you are having fun... not just work. You seem to be enjoying your time.... Keep it up.

Take care