Former Uganda Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa was involved in one of Europe’s most classic games during his club career.
Playing for Kazakhstan’s Ordabasy, Mwesigwa saw his side bundle out of Europa League second round qualifying stage in the most painful fashion in the hands of Norwegian team, FC Rosenborg.
Earlier in the first leg, Ordabasy had scored two late goals to secure a 2-2 draw in Trondheim, Norway, to take home an advantage ahead of the return leg in Almaty.
Come the second leg on July 26, 2012, Mwesigwa’s side needed at least a 1-1 (or goalless) draw to seal a third round place in Europa League qualifiers.
Nothing could go wrong. Surely.
“We had an upper hand after getting a 2-2 draw away,”Mwesigwa told The-SportsNation.
Senegalese striker Mansour Gueye put Mwesigwa’s Ordabasy in the lead at the half-hour mark and the side held a slender lead going into the break.
Fredheim Holm levelled matters in the 67th minute but the visitors saw their chances to fight back fade away when Wangberg, who had come on at restart, sent off in the 77th minute.
Mwesigwa’s side missed the subsequent penalty, with Rosenberg goalkeeper Borek Dockal parrying away Ordabasy Captain Artem Kasyanov’s kick.
Even then, Ordabasy were going through – And this was further confirmed when Rosenborg’s Rade Prica was dismissed for a second yellow!
Rosenberg were down to nine men, with seven minutes on the clock, and needed a goal to progress over Mwesigwa’s Ordabasy.
In the added minutes, 94th to be exact, Borek Dockal scored a winner for the nine-man visitors! 1-2. Can you believe it?
“It was a very crazy moment,” Mwesigwa, whose side had ealier beaten FC Jogodina to reach this stage, remembers. “I mean they had two players sent off. We had everything in control. We even fluffed a penalty.”
Mwesigwa’s Europa League dream went up in smoke, just like that.
He credits Heimir Halgeimson (Iceland) as the best manager he has ever played under.
His best and most memorable goal was against Angola in Under 20 in Nakivubo when he whipped in a half Volley from the corner kick.
Mwesigwa, whose inspiration growing up was coach Mathew Lukya (Nile FC), says that he Geoffrey Sserunkuma is the most intelligent forward he has ever faced.
“Its hard for me to name my toughest opponent. Difficult go single out just one name because I have faced a lot. I have place in four different leagues and have played in Europa Qualifiers,” Mwesigwa adds.
“Even in the National team, I have faced the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Manucho, Mohammed Salah among others, and I have managed to challenge them as well.
“However, I can name Geoffrey Sserunkuma as the most intelligent forward.”