World Cup qualifying: Somalia national team’s history-making driving instructor

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By Harry Poole & John Bennett
BBC Sport
Not every instructor that is driving can claim to have become part of the biggest upsets in the history of international soccer.
However, for Curzon Ashton’s Mohamud Ali, that is all part of a week’s work.
Well, not very.
Since the negative positioned 202nd from 211 in the Fifa rankings listed a remarkable success in World Cup qualifying, thursday was clearly no ordinary night for its Somalia national team.
Parties were triggered by A stunning 86th-minute winner as the Ocean Stars – the group in African football – stunned a Zimbabwe team ranked 90 places in the first leg of the preliminary round match in Djibouti.
National League North participant Ali, who possesses a school in Manchester, played with the full game at centre-back that night while his brother Ahmed captained the side and provided the assist for the target.
“I told my students that I’d be going off to play football,” explained Mohamud, 25. “Obviously , they desired to keep their course but they were absolutely delighted for me personally and that I assured them I would be back quite soon.
“The service was amazing. We trend on Twitter after the game. It is a giant-killing once you consider it. They had been both the most highest-ranked team playing at the round and we were the smallest.
“Nobody expected us to win and when people do manage to get through to the group stage that could be an incredible achievement. But it’s gone down in history.”
Heading into Thursday Somalia had not won a match for 35 years – or really a fixture of any kind since January 2009.
Feeling a winless run because that victory against Tanzania, and beaten 6-0 in precisely the identical stage of World Cup qualifying four decades back by Niger, there was little awareness of an upset arriving against 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations qualifiers Zimbabwe.
Mohamud, whose role as a driving instructor permits him to fit in sufficient time for instruction, believes the outcome has made all of the sacrifices to become a footballer worthwhile.
The guardian said:”It was very emotional, very emotional, only knowing that millions of people are watching the game in every single corner of the world. My brother gave this help and we 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 this major stage. We just need to keep on making history with this group.”
His brother and skipper Ahmed added:”When the final whistle had been blown off I knew this was world news. It awakened in straight away.
“We had been joking that if you take a close look at our previous results all you see is a reddish’L’ next to each of the scores but today we have got a green’W’ and long will that last.”
The initial leg, a’home’ tie to the Ocean Stars, was instead played in neighbouring Djibouti because of the unstable security situation in Somalia – but the outcome moved far from unnoticed as Fifa matched the game on its site along with the lowly team trended globally on social networking.
And, together with the possibility of a nearly unthinkable original appearance in the group stages of World Cup qualification 90 minutes away along with the next leg on Tuesday, Somalia’s president has invited the group.
“Seemingly the scenes back are all incredible, so if we do go back after the second leg that the reception would be unbelievable,” said Mohamud.
“Now Zimbabwe know what we’re about they will have to prepare differently for this game but we are in a strong position.
“We have made history but we are not done . We all know there is a lot more to come from us. So we’ll go there and elaborate ourselves”
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