Sport | Football

NDC successfully defend title

Defending champions National Drilling Company (NDC) retained their football crown in the Dh14 million Armed Forces Officers Club's 12th Open Sports Festival, which finished on Wednesday night with a fantastic display of fireworks.

  • By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 23:35 September 25, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • National Drilling Company celebrate victory in the football tournament during the 12th Armed Force Officers Club's 12th Open Sports Festival. They beat Al Nuaimi Group 4-0.

Abu Dhabi: Defending champions National Drilling Company (NDC) retained their football crown in the Dh14 million Armed Forces Officers Club's 12th Open Sports Festival, which finished on Wednesday night with a fantastic display of fireworks.

NDC scored a 4-0 win over Al Nuaimi Group who had a player sent off early in the game.

Much was expected from the final of the seven-a-side competition, but Al Nuaimi team was always up against it after Izzedine Sharif was shown the red card.

Within five minutes of the start, Sharif's rough play had earned him a yellow card.

NDC followed this by taking the lead when Rifat Abdul Hamid scored off Mohammad Saeed.

Soon after the goal, Sharif was again penalised for a bad tackle and he got his second yellow.

A goal and a man down, Al Nuaimi were soon punished further when Mahmoud Ahmad beat Hussain Diab off a Waleed Samir pass.

Finishing touch

The final petered out into a listless affair after the tournament's top scorer Mohammad Saeed put the finishing touch to a move from Rifaat and Waleed Abdul Aziz.

Saeed capped a great tournament with his 34th goal and NDC cruised home to a 4-0 win.

Wael Abdul Aziz impressed with his tackling and forays further but having one-man less proved too much for Al Nuaimi.

NDC collected Dhs 350,000 for winning the football title and the team announced that Dhs 50,000 would be given to the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, Special Needs and Minors Affairs and Takatof.

However the lack of fireworks in the final was more than made up for by the impressive display in the sky.

Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Culture, and Major General Mohammad Hilal Al Ka'abi, AFOC Board Chairman and President of the Higher Organising Committee of the sports festival, attended the prize giving ceremony along with other senior AFOC officials.

Major General Al Ka'abi said the Armed Forces Officers Club would modernise it's state-of-the-art facilities as the UAE prepares for other sports events, including the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2009.

Highlighting the details of the club's development programme, Al Ka'abi said it would include facilities for marine sports like wharfs for parking speedboats, water cycles.

There would also be space for beach football and volleyball in an attempt to make the club into a world class resort that would take advantage of it's location.

He added the expansion program also included a 5,000 capacity hall in view of Abu Dhabi's need for places to hold various social ceremonies.

The plan was also to build a 15,000 capacity in-door sports facility that would meet Olympic standards.

It would be used for sports such as five-side football, basketball, volleyball, handball, table tennis, lawn tennis, billiard, snooker, gymnastics and jiu jitsu.

Gulf News
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