United Arab Emirates: Dubai Stallions Crush Al Ain Desert Foxes
Playing nine-on-nine didn’t faze the Dubai Stallions as they trampled over the Al Ain Desert Foxes in unusual circumstances.
Due to the Desert Foxes not being able to field enough players for the standard 11-on-11 version, the game was trimmed to nine-a-side on Friday at The Sevens. With the way the Stallions looked, no change in the amount of players would have likely made a difference.
“It’s very weird. It’s something we haven’t prepared for,” Dubai coach Anthony Daniels said. “It didn’t hurt us and I was pleased with the way our guys responded to it.”
Quarterback Rani Zahr threw for a touchdown, while running backs Davion Miller and Mohamed El Atawi each found the end zone. Dubai also scored on a blocked punt for a return by Zaid Choueiri and two interception returns by Haider Shah.
Following a lacklustre tie with their city rivals the Barracudas in their first game, the Stallions earned their first victory since claiming last year’s Desert Bowl.
“We’re growing together and coming together as a team,” Daniels said. “We’re progressing to where I want us to be right now.”
Al Ain, meanwhile, remain winless but coach Johnny Sharp wasn’t discouraged.
“I’m learning that there are individuals that are getting better,” Sharp said. “As long as individuals are getting better, that becomes contagious. When players see their teammates getting better, they want to get better. So I’ll take that.”
Story by Jay Asser: Jay is a reporter who covers the NBA and NFL, as well as local sports in the UAE. He’s lived the majority of his life in Boston, one of the biggest sports scenes in the world, and majored in journalism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His idea of fun is dissecting basketball plays and breaking down American football film.