Stories from Borg El Arab stands



Mon, 09 Oct 2017 - 07:05 GMT


Mon, 09 Oct 2017 - 07:05 GMT

Egyptian fans, Reuters

Egyptian fans, Reuters

CAIRO – 9 October 2017: It was a different night for all Egyptians who experienced Egypt’s qualification to the World Cup after 28 years of absence. Everyone gathered in cafes and homes or watched the game together at work.

Egyptians experienced the game with mixed emotions, but the people who had the chance to watch the game from Borg El Arab Stadium have another story to tell.

Ahmed Ibrahim is a 25-year-old doctor who travelled from Benha City with 10 of his friends to watch the game in Borg El Arab Stadium. He and his friends started the trip at 10 a.m. and finally sat in their chairs in the stands at 4:30 p.m.
Ahmed Ibrahim and his friends, Egypt Today

“I expected an easy game for us and that we would win 3-0 or 4-0, but once the game started, I had different feelings,” Ahmed told Egypt Today. “The first half ended 0-0 and I began to worry until Salah’s first goal; after that, I got relieved.”

Ahmed spoke about his feelings after Congo’s equalizing goal, saying, “It was a shock, but the extra five minutes returned my trust in the national team again, and the second goal from Salah was the best moment.”

A 24-year-old football coach, Amr Ashout, travelled from Heliopolis, Cairo with his friends to Alexandria to enjoy the morning on the beach before going to the stadium. The day was perfect for Amr until Congo scored the equalizer.

Amr Ahour, Egypt Today.jpg
“It was like a festival turned into a funeral; a punch in the face. I couldn’t believe what happened, and I was sure that we would miss the chance, as we have always done,” Amr said.

Amr added, “Once we got the penalty, I looked to Salah; he is the best, and I knew he would score it and take us to Russia.”

Yasser Ramadan, an officer in the army, was happy to have a day off on Sunday to go to the match with his friends, and they moved from Giza to Borg El Arab. They arrived at the stadium at 6 p.m.

Yasser remembered the toughest moment in the game, saying, “The silence after Congo’s goal was much worse than the goal. We couldn’t see the stadium’s clock, so we didn’t know how much time remained after Congo’s goal. I asked a man next to me about the extra time, and he was shocked, because we were so close to the extra time and our chances were limited to score the winning goal.”

Yasser, who left the stadium quickly to join his unit in the army, said, “I was so crazy after Salah scored the penalty. I even punched a man in the face and I kept apologizing to him, and he was hugging me. We finally qualified to the world cup; I really can’t believe it.”

Everyone in the stadium will not forget this game, and they will keep these moments in their memory forever.
Yasser Ramadan on his way to Borg El Arab, Egypt Today



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