Somalia is a nation known for the war that has killed thousands and destroyed a beautiful nation but all that is not lost as the Somalia National team seeks to make football a contributing factor to peace and development.
Somalia beating fancied Zimbabwe Warriors came as a suprise to everyone in Africa in what was a shock win and one man was at the epicentre of the action .
Mo Ali has already become a part of Somalia’s football history, but he is out to create more ahead of their huge return game against Zimbabwe in the 1st round of FIFA World Cup qualifying .
The Nash centre back played the whole 90 minutes and was named man of the match as Somalia beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in the 1st leg on Thursday, ending a run of 35 years without a qualifying win and 10 years without a win of any kind.
A positive result tomorrow would see them progress to the group stages of qualification for the first time and potentially earn a clash with the likes of Mo Salah’s Egypt or Sadio Mane’s Senegal.
Reflecting on his achievements, Ali said: “It’s been very hectic since the game. We’ve had a lot of travel to Zimbabwe for the next game and not much sleep, so I haven’t had too much time to reflect on it yet.
“No matter what happens tomorrow we’ve already written history. That game is something that will be remembered by generations, something that our kids and their kids after that will know about.
“It was quite an even game, they had chances and so did we. They were the highest ranked team we could have drawn at this stage of the qualification, but we could tell they were underestimating us.
“We were training in Djibouti [where the first leg was held] for a few days but they only arrived the night before the game. We could tell from the way they were acting that they weren’t taking us seriously.”
Ranked 202nd in the world, nobody expected anything from this Somalia team, but they have already proved the many doubters wrong. Can they do the unthinkable and go one step further on Tuesday with qualification to the next round?
“I can’t even put into words what that would mean to me and everybody else. As I said, we’ve already written history and tomorrow we can go out and do it again.”
Keep an eye out for Saturday’s matchday programme for an extended interview with Mo!