Tuesday 29 March 2022
I wrote – Shorouq Ghoneim:
32 years old, and Walid Al-Saedi’s heart still embraces the vividness of the memory of that day. It beats every time his tape passes in front of him or he sits with his children, enthusiastically telling about its details. The dawn of Monday, November 16, 1989, a boy still at the age of sixteen, is preparing to attend the first match in his life from the field, and he has been passionate about the world of the round since his childhood. The various stadiums are behind the national team in the hope of attending another historic moment.
Hours separate the Egyptians from the decisive meeting, as the national team plays against Senegal, this evening, Tuesday, at seven in the evening, in the second leg of the final stage of the African continent’s qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Last Friday, Al-Saeedi attended the first leg match between Egypt and Senegal at Cairo Stadium, which ended with the victory of the Egyptian team with a goal without a response. The situation was not new to the 50-year-old man, who attended two previous meetings in which the national team decided his place in the World Cup, while he did not miss the third in Cairo against Senegal, which would facilitate the task during the return match.
1989 was the first time for Al-Saeedi. Nothing was normal that day; The city that the young man used to be half asleep at dawn, her eyes were wide open, receiving everyone in the streets, the flags of Egypt spun in hands and shops, summer clothes and hats, carriages invading the road to Cairo Stadium in Nasr City, nine more than possible, some sit Above its roof, and others sticking their heads out of the windows, waving flags, the calls and chants are mixed with 120 fans inside Cairo Stadium, while 55 million citizens represented them in the streets and homes, to beat Algeria and qualify for the World Cup.
The atmosphere is still present in Al-Saeedi’s mind to this day. He bought a ticket for five pounds, and at six in the morning the doors of Cairo Stadium were opened, in preparation for the match scheduled for two and a half in the afternoon. At the third north, he sat among the fans and accompanied by his friends from high school, “I was still young and thought about what to do.” We don’t want encouragement from the morning and the length of the match.” It was the first time he uttered the chant, “The right of the north, we will go to the World Cup”, which has become inherent to him with time.
There is no louder voice than the cheers of the present audience, sometimes overshadowing the voice of the internal announcer for the match. He remembers well when he started calling out the names of the players participating from the national team in the match, “We were cheering for each player, especially when the name of Taher Abu Zaid was mentioned. This is the most public player who cheered for him despite He was on the bench at the beginning of the match.”
The military symphony led by Mahmoud Ismail El Sakka played the national anthem for the two teams, and the atmosphere of the match began, which was similar in its outcome to what happened last Friday with the Senegal team, after the fourth minute of the match, the player Hossam Hassan scored the only goal in the match from a header, while the result was the same The timing, after 32 years, when Mohamed Salah’s ball hit the Senegalese defender, to score the first and last goal of the match in the fourth minute.
The atmosphere after the match was crazy, unparalleled celebrations spread in the streets of Egypt, “we were hugging each other in the stadium, between weeping and celebrations because we could not believe”, while the players did not leave the field at the time without greeting the audience more than once, some of whom gave their T-shirts. to the public.
Accompanied by his friends, Al-Saeedi attended the Egypt-Congo match in October of 2017, a whole life passed and he still longs for the taste of winning and experiencing a similar feeling in ascending to the World Cup, as happened in 1990, which the 50-year-old actually achieved “we arrived 3 hours before the match in Alexandria”, as the match was held At the Burj Al Arab stadium, “I came back again to feeling the same chant, right to the north, we’ll go to the World Cup.”
In the first degree, the lover of the round was present this time, while inside him he still retained the same spirit that attended from the third north in 1989, a difference in the atmosphere lived, but the cheer remained united, “This time we felt that he was Salah, all hope is on him, but from 30 years ago The team situation was different.
Epic moments passed by the fans, about sixty thousand inside the Burj Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, and one hundred million between the streets and the houses watching the match, “The whole stadium was crying in the last 10 minutes, and the fear was over, the joy was when Salah hit the penalty.” She sent the double of the international player Mohamed Salah Egypt for the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Al-Saedi does not stop telling the details of the first time he attended a match for the national team and qualified for the World Cup, for his two children, in which he spreads the passion for football, and the solidarity behind the team in its matches, so in the qualifiers for the brown continent this time he decided to take them with him to the stadium to live the atmosphere that he always tells them. They are now in secondary school, the same age as when I attended the first time from the stadium, and this was the first time for them to attend Egypt’s World Cup qualifiers.”
Al-Saeedi has great hopes for today’s match; He has the spirit in which he attended the Egypt-Algeria match in November 1989, “it was the highest time I’ve seen such encouragement and an atmosphere.” There are gaps between the times we went up,” as the first was in 1934, the second in 1989, and the third 2017, and it will be the fourth in the history of the Pharaohs if today’s meeting is decided.
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