Viva UAE

You would have had to be living under a rock to have missed out on Friday night’s wild celebrations.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sun 20 Jan 2013, 12:39 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:14 AM

The second Ismail Al Hammadi shot the victory goal in the 107th minute of the Gulf Cup final, soccer fans countrywide broke into a roaring celebration that went on till the wee hours. While loyalists stayed glued to their screens throughout the game, cheering on Omar Abdulrahaman who scored the first goal against Iraq, some put in an early night rather thinking about the next big cricket match.

We spoke to youngsters from across Dubai and here’s what they had to say:

Arudra Suresh, 14, and a grade 9 student in Dubai said: “ I like football. But I didn’t see the match. I had to wake up early for my cricket tournament in school. But I know the score: 2-1.”

Aditi Suresh, 12, (Arudra’s sister) and a grade 7 student said: “ I didn’t see the match ... I’m not a football fan. I watch more cricket matches because of my brother.”

Mustafa Khamal, 28, from Egypt, who is a banker said he loves football. “I landed from Cairo yesterday at 11am and I had to see the match. After Egypt, I support the UAE. When the victory goal happened, we went to celebrate — my friends and I, we went to party at Café Ajman. We had a great time.”

Syed Owais, 28 a textile businessman in Dubai, said it was a great match, an expected victory. “We were almost celebrating even before the second goal. Inshallah. We took the cup. Yes, we celebrated till 4am, driving, going from one place to another. Then we were very tired.”

“I saw only parts of the match because my friends were watching,” said Harish Tolani, 26 and a banker in Dubai. “You end up watching. But I’m more a cricket fan. Especially if India is playing.”

“I’m a big, big soccer fan,” said Ahmed Mamdouh, 24, and an accountant in Egypt. “I love watching the games. Yesterday’s was a great match. I saw it on my computer, live streaming. The Internet speed here is much faster than back home. I always see the matches on Dubai Sports. I don’t have friends here but back home when Arsenal or Real Madrid win, we go to the clubs. I’m so happy the UAE won.”—

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