The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture won this year’s Big Game against the United Faculties with a score of 1-0. Members of the AUB community -faculty, staff and students- gathered at the green field on Wednesday, April 11, despite the cloudy weather, to witness the annual traditional competition.
The awaited match was preceded by parades that kicked off far away from the Greenfield. FEA supporters gathered in front Bechtel wearing their red shirts and carrying a banner saying: “FEA for The Win – DABAKNEHA.”
FAS supporters began their march from Green Oval, carrying a simple banner that read “United Faculties” and bringing along a marching band to go head to head with the FEA supporters in front of Bechtel before heading towards the green field.
With AUB athletes lined up behind them and full bleachers, FEA and FAS students took over the field and performed a dabke to kick off the celebrations of the game. AUB cheerleaders were also present throughout the game.
President Fadlo Khuri, MD, then gave the opening word, urging players not to go to the penalty shootout, and was followed by the Dean of Student Affairs, Talal Nizameddin, Ph.D., who said that the United Faculties team had unusually outwitted FEA in its parade.
After their words, Director of University Sports, Ghaleb Halimi, unveiled the AUB Mascot: a phoenix.
This year’s guest of honor was Rabih Jallal, who took the honorary kick of the match. Jallal is a runner who lost the ability to see at the age of sixteen. He took the decision to stop smoking a couple of years ago, and sports played a life-changing role for him.
The match then began. No goals were scored in the first half.
At half-time, spectators saw another and newly-established competition between faculties. The track was emptied in order to hold the 4×400 meter relay in which the six faculties raced. Each team was represented by two faculty members (male and female) and two students (male and female). President Khuri shot the fire gun to start the relay in which FEA dominated and won the gold medal.
The second half of the football game started with a big urge from the players to change the score. The United Faculties’ team played a part of that half with ten players.
Additionally, the game was interrupted for fifteen minutes because the electricity went off.
With ten minutes of the game left and the two teams still being tied at 0-0, FEA student Bassam Adada assisted his teammate Christopher Tamari, who scored the only goal of the match.
The referee whistled, announcing the victory of FEA for the sixth year in a row.
Adada, who participated in last year’s Big Game, told Outlook he found the atmosphere crazy as usual. He also described his urge that made him assist the winning goal.
“I was running down the wing when I saw Chris, my teammate, waiting for me to pass him the ball on the edge of the box. He took his first touch, positioned himself, then made that shot that sealed us the win. It felt great to get our second win representing our faculty,” said the engineering student.
The Big Game was a success, not only the football part. The competitive parades, the track race, the dabke dance, the cheerleading, and the commentators who made a mixture between Raouf Khaleef and Issam Chawali gave the spectators an unforgettable time.