Friday September 8, 2017
Nairobi (HMC) – The Somali Domestic league ended the 2017 season in style as tens of thousands of fans poured into Banadir (Konis) Stadium to watch the final between Hodan and Waberi.
The game was held at night – a first in Somalia in nearly three decades. Fans watched under the flood lights as the young footballers put on a show for Mogadishu residents.
Waberi jumped out to an early lead with two quick goals that led them to a commanding lead. Hodan had an excellent opportunity to get on the scoreboard at the 30:55 mark with a penalty but spoiled with a miss. Waberi held on to the 2-0 lead into halftime despite playing with a man down.
Waberi exploded out the gate in the second half as well immediately scoring yet another goal. Hodan was finally able to get one back with a goal at the 65th-minute mark and had several promising attempts at goal.
In the end, Waberi was able to stave off Hodans attempt at a comeback and cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win.
However, although thoroughly entertaining, the match was a symbol that Mogadishu is a city that wants to shake off the negative labels that have followed Mogadishu for a quarter century. Thousands of cheering fans came out after dark to support their local team but both sides were proud of the boys.
“I’m from Hodan, so I really wanted us to win tonight but it doesn’t matter. The players had fun, the fans had fun. This is what Mogadishu needs” said 28-year-old Ali Mohamud Ibrahim. “Hopefully this will give hope to the younger kids who dream of playing in front of thousands of fans.”
Mogadishu’s Mayor Thabit Abdi called it an “electrifying night in Mogadishu” and said match made him proud of the city.