UAE v. Kuwait

This is the first of two soccer posts today. Exactly one month ago yesterday was the opening of NYU Abu Dhabi, as well as the occasion of a friendly soccer match between the UAE and Kuwait. I’ll talk more about this in another post, but after you’ve worked 16-hour days for two weeks straight, there’s nothing better than attending an outdoor soccer game in the heat and humidity of Abu Dhabi in the summer.

Despite it being Ramadan which meant that the game didn’t kick-off until 10pm, it was still absolutely sweltering outside. I was already sweating just walking from the cab to our seats in the stadium–which we had no problem finding, because it was general admission and less than 500 people showed up to fill a stadium big enough for 30,000.

It’s been so long now, that I don’t honestly remember much about the game. I was so exhausted that I decided to leave at half-time when the UAE was winning 2-0. If I had stayed until the very last minute of the game, I could have apparently seen one more goal, as the game finished 3-0 to the home team.

Perhaps the most memorable part about attending the game was the experience itself. With the stadium almost empty, there was very little atmosphere… something that’s almost impossible to imagine at a soccer match.

Despite the subdued attitude of the crowd, however, there was one guy trying to rouse everyone’s spirits. This kid couldn’t have been older than 18, and must have weighed more than 350 pounds, but he was the heart and soul of the crowd. He single-handedly managed to get everyone in the stadium chanting and singing. Unfortunately, it was all in Arabic and I have absolutely no idea what he was saying.

  • Sheiks and Empty Seats
  • UAE Team Warming Up
  • Kuwait and UAE Line Up for Anthems
  • UAE Players During National Anthem

One Response to “UAE v. Kuwait”

  1. [...] games in person. I’ve actively watched three world cups, but have until yesterday had only seen one international soccer match in person. Last night I got to truly experience “the beautiful game” live and in [...]

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