Sport
I was only 60% fit - Massa
Publish Date: May 31, 2014
I was only 60% fit - Massa
Massa celebrates his goal that ultimately secured Ugandas passage to the next round. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Fred Kaweesi 

Africa Nations Cup Qualifier

Uganda Madagascar 0 (2-2 agg)

(Uganda qualifies on away goals rule) 

GEOFFREY Massa earned Uganda a precious ticket to the second round of the 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers after a nervous 1-0 win against Madagascar on Saturday.

The Cranes striker headed into the net on 13 minutes after Luwagga Kizito had shoved off three defenders to float in a well-weighted ball at the opposite end of the 18-yard area.

However, the result that secured Uganda a date against either Mauritania or Equatorial Guinea came on the back of rivers of sweat, tension and extreme nerves among the fans. 

Uganda Cranes recover

In the build-up to the game, Cranes, who had collapsed to a 2-1 first leg defeat in Madagascar, needed a 1-0 result to progress to the next stage.

But playing out for such results that are a bare minimum normally creates unnecessary tension and presents the opposition with hope if the advantage isn’t stretched into the game.

Massa out-jumps Elysee Randriamanantena to head home the winner. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo

That’s the price Cranes had to pay till the final whistle —and that, simply because Massa couldn’t covert three other opportunities that came his way.

“I was not 100% fit. The most important thing was winning the game,” Massa told New Vision Sport after the game.

“I have been recovering from an injury and that’s why I missed the first leg.

“I played at 60%. I tried to fight on even when I felt uncomfortable and couldn’t run well.”

Although there were a series of anxious moments that had the hosts on the back-foot later in the second half including Noro Andramahitsi’s miscued shot, Cranes deserved their win, as their attacking and expansive approach to the game was at times irresistible.

Right from the start, the visitors showed a sense of vulnerability and none of their 13 free-kicks could make a difference.

It was a frustrating outting for Massa who fluffed his lines on several occasions. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo

They conceded consecutive corners before succumbing to the goal.

Although Madagascar survived Khalid Aucho’s blockbuster minutes later, the game as a contest would literally have been over the moment Massa was presented with another opportunity on 26 minutes. 

Narrow escape

The South Africa-based striker capitalised on Denis Iguma’s brilliant run down the right, found his way into the box at the right time but had his intended shot saved by Madagascar goalkeeper Robin Bakotonirina at his feet.

The Cranes were as dominant into the second half as in the first, with Massa at the forefront of the team’s attacking play.

He miscued a shot just after the restart before seeing his header brilliantly saved by Bakotonirina.

Micho watched on nervously from the touchline as Cranes failed to kill the game off with some wastful finishing. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo

Minutes after Moses Oloya’s shot had been dealt with, Massa found Luwagga Kizito with a fine ball but the Portuguese-based midfielder’s shot was thwarted.

At this stage, Massa was clearly Cranes’ only route to goal. His attacking partner Emmanuel Okwi had been abject throughout the game and had to be replaced by Hamis Kiiza.

Kiiza minutes later made his presence felt.

The Yanga striker released Massa but the Cranes star could only watch his effort cleared off the line after embarrassing Bakotonirina with a deft touch round him.

Despite his early goal, this just didn’t seem to be Massa’s day.  

He fluffed two consecutive chances to the fans’ frustration.

“The fans must understand that I played with pain and despite that, I tried to give my best,” he added.

Related stories

Uganda 1 Madagascar 0

Micho pleased to have Oloya available

Madagascan names puzzle hotel clerks

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Drogba joins Montreal Impact in MLS transfer
Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba joined Major League Soccer's Montreal Impact on Monday, the Ivory Coast striker signing with the Canadian club after a rights transfer from the Chicago Fire....
Platini set to run for FIFA presidency - source
UEFA chief Michel Platini is set to announce in the coming days that he will stand in next year's election to replace Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA....
Desh, Consta, Pole Pole for Rwanda rally
Uganda rally drivers Desh Kananura, John Consta and Wilbert Pole Pole will be out to break the 9-year jinx without getting a podium finish in the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla rally that is set for Friday and Saturday in Kigali, Rwanda...
Mwesigwa is itching for Professional cash
Uganda Professional golfer Brian Mwesigwa cannot wait to have a share of the sh100m prize money from the Tusker Malt Lager Professionals' Open starting, Wednesday...
Chelsea sell Filipe Luis back to Atletico
Brazilian winger Filipe Luis is returning to Atletico Madrid just a year after they sold him to Chelsea, the clubs said Tuesday....
Sheraton hotel consoles golf open losers
At Sheraton everybody is a winner, as the winners of the Uganda National golf open walked away with different prizes, Sheraton Hotel consoled the losers during the piga mingi night....
Should government create more constituencies?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter