• Kenyan fans flock Kampala ahead of Cranes, Harambee stars tie

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Oct 08, 2011-

Harambee Stars travelling fans have arrived in droves to watch this afternoon’s epic clash in Kampala between the Kenyan team and their hosts Uganda Cranes in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Kenyan fans started arriving in the Ugandan capital on Thursday evening and the last batch (including yours truly) was part of the group that trickled in early saturday.

All through the long road trip to Kampala, there was a cheerful banter amongst the fans aboard the bus in which I travelled.

A great sense of camaraderie was palpable amongst the travelers, with many expressing confidence that the Stars could yet upset the Cranes in the high stakes match.

But upon arrival in the early morning hours, we were struck by a sea of yellow – flags waving, vuvuzelas blaring and all.

Just as we made our way to Kampala’s city centre, we were caught up in a huge traffic snarl along Jinja Road occasioned by the large number of home fans who were already making their way to the match venue.

Clearly, this is a very big match and the Ugandans have made it open that they are going to make things very difficult for Stars this evening at Namboole Stadium.

Sh600m for Cranes Win, screamed the banner headline of Uganda’s leading daily newspaper, New Vision, a report in which each of the 18 players will walk away with at least sh21m should Uganda beat Kenya at Namboole to return to Africa’s biggest soccer tournament after a 33 year absence.

The mouthwatering pay day follows a string of offers in cash and pledges made by various institutions and individuals totaling Sh 384m.

However, morale at the Cranes camp has been blighted by news of star forward David Obua’s dismissal.

But even in Obua’s absence, danger still lurks for Stars in the name of one Mike Sserumagga. The 22 year old Rayon Sport striker has the pace and potency to punish the Kenyan defensive if not kept under close watch.

Time is ticking… behold, Kenya’s date with destiny is at hand.

Nesta Kizito in Kampala

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