Last Sunday Night, 8th of October, will always remain unforgettable, being one of the happiest days this country had ever seen in the recent 20 years. Finally, after a prolonged time, we all had the opportunity to watch the dream of 104 million Egyptians coming true. Definitely, I am more than proud to spotlight that I’ve been there to witness one of the greatest days of this nation’s history. It really goes beyond the late dramatic win after our overwhelming devastation. Obviously, such little things are certainly what made that day perfect!
People were rallying up to the stadium in Alexandria from all-over Egypt since 9 am that day, tens of thousands have already filled most of the stadium by 2 pm. Everyone was cheerful and chanting for Egypt, wearing the red and black kit or drawing the Egyptian flag on their faces or waving our flag up high, cheerfully everyone was excited. Whether the exhausting journey to get to the seat (or stair) in the stadium or the endless wait in the stadium before the match, these all went away when our lads got to the pitch for the warm-up. Chanting for every single player and giving them the maximum amount of encouragement and support to reach the mutual dream of every Egyptian; reaching the World Cup!. Approaching the match, the players entered then the Egyptian anthem music rolled, you could feel the goosebumps while singing loud and proud for our Country.
Once the referee whistled for kick-off, everyone started to chant “kas el a’alam” so loud as you could feel the stadium shaking. Players started calmly but what wasn’t shown on TV were the players off the ball, who were extremely focused and Essam El Hadary would excite the whole crowd whenever silence occurs. The first half was up and you could see the anxiety on the spectators’ faces but they never lost hope. The stadium’s DJ kept playing the drums used in our chants to scream “Masr!”. The second half started with people anticipating the goal at any moment and reacting impulsively whenever the ball is in the final third of the pitch till Salah snitched the goal after an hour of play. Contentedly, you could see the ball passing the line in slow motion till suddenly madness broke loose and filled the place with celebration everywhere in the stands, pitch, and the Egyptian bench with everyone hugging and jumping rapidly over the chairs. Certainly, everyone was relieved including the players and it’s totally understandable as it was the closest we ever got to world’s most anticipated tournament for the latest 28 years. We didn’t even feel time as the celebration continued just this way for 10 minutes in the stands, the focus was back on the field in worry for losing the lead we strongly gained.
In the middle of these magnificent smiles all over the stands came the bummer just 3 minutes before the standard time. People were 3 types at such moment in the stadium, some who stared at the scoreboard to be surprised by the timing or refusing to believe that it was an actual goal that counted, others that sat in absolute silence with mountains of concerns, and there were those who started excitedly chanting again “Masr!” urging the team to get up on their feet again and never lose hope. On the other hand concerning the players, psychological breakdown filled the field accompanied with some pouring tears but there was one of the best soul-crushing reactions that we’ve ever seen with Salah who fell off to the ground face-downwards in extreme frustration . But then he got up eagerly on his feet again encouraging all players to stay confident that they can achieve it and kept waving his arms to the crowd to increase the chants until all these 3 types of people in the stands became the chanting ones. When the stoppage-time was announced to be 5 minutes, suddenly everyone had huge hope that it’s still possible as here in Egypt we’ve seen how those 5 minutes can turn tables more than once.
With everyone worried and on their feet watching as minutes fade away till the fourth minute came and Hegazi’s lob pass into the box was followed by Trezegeut’s fall by getting tripped and all eyes in the country were on the referee waiting for his decision until his whistle blew with his arm aiming to the penalty spot and everyone was mad again but this time everyone was chanting “Ya rab” and “Kas el a’alam” even louder till Salah stepped up to shoot it. Once that ball hit the net, all hell broke loose, people took off their shirts and came on hugging strangers and friends, tears of joy were everywhere, everyone was screaming till everyone’s voices were gone. Players, security, journalists and the staff, everyone went insane as soon as the ball hit the net with joy filling every inch of our beautiful country in the stadium, streets, and homes. Even disabled spectators were jumping and madly celebrating with wheelchairs, crutches or even one leg. Till the final whistle and even after, everyone was still celebrating passionately. After the match, the players started running all-around the stadium applauding the spectators and El-Hadary did his famous dance over the crossbar. Fireworks and flares were everywhere in celebration. People started leaving the stadium while still chanting for Egypt and smiles couldn’t leave their faces for hours, everyone felt happy forgetting all about the crazy worries they had concerning their lives, as finally, they witnessed history with their bare eyes. We took some exclusive footage that you’ll find on our Facebook page because one video is worth more than thousand of words!
We all witnessed the battle till the final whistle. We saw happiness, then shocking catastrophe, and then complete outburst of joy. We learned to believe in ourselves and never give up our hopes and dreams. Buckle up Russia, because the Pharoahs are coming to town!