Barely fifteen minutes into a recent soccer match between the Burundian and Rwandan communities in Portland, Evrard Ngabirano already had a lot of celebrate.
“We got a second goal on our side, the Burundian team,” Ngabirano said with a big smile.
While the event was billed as a friendly matchup, the game itself was competitive.
“You know any competition you always want to win,” said Burundi assistant coach Thierry Ndabahagamye. “So nobody wants to lose.”
The two teams last met over the summer, and Ndabahagamye said Burundi came out on top.
Over the Rwandan side of the field, however, team captain Leopold Ndaysabye remembered things differently.
“No no no they never [beat] us,” Ndaysabye insisted. “Maybe it’s gonna be today but they never, never [beat] us.”
For Sandrine Muhinkwenyere, who came to watch the game, it’s not about the final score.
“The ultimate goal is not to win or something, but it’s to be together, have [a] good time together,” Muhinkwenyere said. “It just warms up our hearts to see our community together.”