Rogers Mato On Namboole Debut, Late Arrival

Uganda Cranes forward Rogers Mato Kassim made a triumphant debut at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, on Friday, arriving late to join the team in their 1-0 victory over Botswana in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

An emotional Mato expressed his joy and gratitude, describing the experience as a “dream come true.” Reflecting on the match, he said, “First of all, I thank the players, coaches, and fans for their commitment and hard work for the win against Botswana.”

Mato, who had been delayed due to work permit issues in Macedonia, explained his late arrival. “I arrived late because of my workplace in Macedonia; I didn’t have a work permit. But as soon as I got it, I had to come and represent my country.”

Playing in front of the home crowd was particularly special for Mato. “It’s always a pleasure for any player to represent your country in front of the home fans.

“The last time Uganda Cranes played at Namboole, I came as a young fan and passed through barbed wires to watch the Cranes. As soon as I heard I was summoned, I had to make it here.”

The Cranes secured their victory against Botswana with a second-half goal from Shaban Muhammad.

Now, the team and Mato are preparing for their next challenge: a match against Algeria on Monday, June 10th, at Namboole.

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