Illustration by Mahgul Farooqui

ADISL Men's Football 2017-2018 Season Kicks Off

The intercollegiate team began the ADISL 2017-2018 season with a match with the Emirates Institute of Technology.

Nov 5, 2017

On Oct. 11 the NYU Abu Dhabi Men’s Football team beat the Emirates College of Technology 6-1. The evening was humid and foggy, but that didn’t stop fans from flocking to the stands to applaud the Falcons.
Last season ECT finished above NYUAD in the standings, which meant the pressure was on for the Falcons to win. The team didn’t seem fazed though, and spirits were high during warm-up and in the moments of anticipation before the game.
“I didn’t have any doubt that [the Falcons] were going to win,” said team manager Mai Awamleh afterward.
Within the first seven minutes of the game, Joseph Opey, Class of 2019, scored the first goal of the night. Fans cheered as he raced down the field post-goal, dabbing to celebrate. Opey scored again in the last few seconds of the first half and piggybacked one of his teammates in celebration, much to the delight of spectators.
Players’ energy and antics picked up even more in the second half with pressure from Ahmed Barak, an ECT player, who scored ECT’s first and only goal of the match. Hurbert Shauri, Class of 2019, scored the Falcons’ third goal of the night, which was quickly followed by another goal by Mohamed Mahfouz, Class of 2020. Frederik Jensen, Class of 2018, then scored the team a free kick following a foul. After a series of Falcon attempts, including hitting the crossbar twice, Ylber Roka, Class of 2019, finished off the team’s victory with a goal and a triumphant front roll down the field.
Peter Dicce, Director of Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation commented on the game with an eye for improvement.
“I thought it took us a little while to get into the game. Once we got settled in, [that was when] things went okay. I never thought the result was in doubt, it was about us doing what we needed to do and we’d get the result we’d need to get,” he concluded.
There is a football community being established at NYUAD, but the huge roster presents its challenges as well.
“There are only six substitutions and when you have a roster of almost fifty players it’s difficult to get everybody playing time,” said Dicce.
Players on the bench were seen warming up and cheering for their teammates throughout the game, even though many of them would not get the chance to play. Despite these challenges, Dicce asserted that team morale is high this season. “It’s about building community and making sure players feel like they’re a part of something that’s bigger than themselves.”
Since the Oct. 11 game against ECT, the Men’s Football team has beaten Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi 11-1 on Oct. 18 and lost 0-1 to United Arab Emirates University on Nov. 1. The Falcons play their next match against Khawarizmi International College on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
The Women’s Football team will play against PSUAD immediately afterward in one of only two on-campus matches this season.
Zoe Patterson is a contributing writer. Email her at
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