The first time Uganda entered the FIFA World Cup ™ frame was ahead of the 1978 edition in Argentina. A 1-0 victory over Zambia was followed by a 4-2 defeat in the return leg.
The story was very similar in the qualifying campaign for Mexico 1986, when the Zambians were their first opponents. Once again the Ugandans won 1-0 at home, but lost by a greater margin away. Four years later they again won 1-0 at home, this time against Malawi, but lost 3-1 on the road. Angola and Guinea knocked out Uganda in the next two competitions.
Before the start of the qualifying campaign for Germany 2006, Uganda desperately wanted to advance to the group stages for the first time and, after being drawn against Mauritius in the African Zone first qualifying round, the signs looked good.
They looked even better after the first-leg match in Kampala when the home side managed to win 3-0. In Mauritius, however, things were very different as the islanders clawed their way back into the tie and levelled matters with a third goal in injury time. The match then went into extra time and, just when it seemed as if a penalty shoot-out would have to decide which team was going to go through, the son of Uganda FA president David Obua found the net to send his team through with a Golden Goal.
After this historic performance, Uganda came up against much stronger opposition in qualifying Group 2, the Cranes eventually going out after recording two wins, two draws and six defeats. They will hope to get back to winning ways when the qualifiers for South Africa 2010 roll around.