NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14- The only other recent time Kenya’s biggest sporting facility was in deafening noise and full to capacity in a sporting festival was in July last year when the country hosted the rest of the world in the last ever edition of the IAAF World Under-18 Championships.
Before that, you could stretch your memory all the way back to 1997 when Harambee Stars held Nigeria’s Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw in a World Cup Qualifier with elated fans dancing their way to and fro the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.
On Sunday as record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia hosted Hull City in an international friendly match, the stadium was sold out to its 60,000 capacity with thousands more locked outside and forced to watch proceedings from mounted mobile screens.
60,000 people in the Kasarani Stadium today and 60,000 outside !!! An unbelievable experience today. Thankyou Kenya. History made. Ambassadors of hope. @HullCity @OfficialGMFC @SportPesa #Hullcityinkenya
— Nigel Adkins (@TheNigelAdkins) May 13, 2018
It turned out to be a spectacle both on and off the pitch with the two teams providing entertaining football while on the stands, fans showed their love with song and dance.
As always, front row seat at Kasarani Stadium yesterday. The atmosphere was unbelievable!! pic.twitter.com/mMI8YwfTdR
— Lemaiyan (@kakatimm) May 14, 2018
Hull legend Dean Windass set the pace early on when he went on for a dance challenge with a fan who challenged him to the infamous odi dance and he responded with almost equal measure, adding on some floor-rolling icing on the cake.
— Hull City (@HullCity) May 14, 2018
Teaching the locals how to dance 🕺🏼 pic.twitter.com/bfRRnjKPG7
— Dean Windass (@DWindass10) May 13, 2018
Here are some of the images from stadium in a match that Hull won 4-3 on post-match penalties after a 0-0 stalemate in regulation time.
Hull City players and officials described the match as one of the best they have played in, paying particular tribute to the buzzing atmosphere created by the crowd.
The fans cheered every minute of action, especially when Gor made any sweeping moves or passes changed legs in quick succession.
Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr was impressed with the first half performance of his boys and before the teams resumed for the second half, the British coach made a lap on the entire track, urging the green army to raise their decibels.
Dignitaries were also present on match day with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Nairobi Senator Johnston Sakaja and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen leading the way.
I was thrilled to join fans as @OfficialGMFC took on the visiting @HullCity this afternoon. It was a closely fought and very entertaining match that was decided through a penalty shootout. I congratulate @HullCity for the win and both teams for a great game #HullCityInKenya pic.twitter.com/bhr2N9vb3S
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) May 13, 2018
Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards legend Joe Kadenge alongside other retired Harambee Stars players were also present.
— GOR MAHIA FC (@OfficialGMFC) May 13, 2018
On the pitch, the players showed their true worth with Gor showing that they can match any opponent.
Gor now hope that fans will turn out in almost equal numbers when they face Algerian outfit USM Alger in a CAF COnfederation Cup group stage match on Wednesday at the same facility.