A rare feel-good story from Somalia
When it comes to World Cup soccer, Somalia is an after thought.
Somalia is ranked 202 of 211 football nations — 90 places below Zimbabwe in the latest world rankings.
It's been 35 years since Somalia’s last qualifying win, and 10 years since the last victory of any kind. Somalia had lost 27 matches in a row.
That's why last week's game is such a shock.
It’s the upset everyone has been talking about. The highest-ranked team in the first round of African preliminaries beaten by the lowest, as Somalia earned their first-ever FIFA World Cup™ qualifying win.
“It’s a giant-killing when you think about it,” Somalia centre-half Mohamud Ali, a driving instructor by trade in the English city of Manchester, said of their 1-0 win over Zimbabwe.
"It was very emotional, very emotional, just knowing that millions of people would be watching the game in every single corner of the world. My brother gave the assist [for Anwar Sayid Ali’s 86th-minute winning goal] and we just had a moment hugging on the pitch.”
Somalia hasn't qualified for the World Cup yet, but this was a big first step.