Abu Dhabi Thistle travelled up Sheikh Zayed Road on Saturday to play their final match of the season in the Jebel Ali Youth League. The message in this week's team talk was clear: win the match and take home the league title.
The match started slowly with neither team taking control of the play. That changed when Abu Dhabi's number 7, Josh, reacted first to a loose ball and unleashed a snap shot from 12 yards which was saved down low by Universal's goalkeeper. On 18 minutes Universal took the game to the visitors with a series of quick attacks down the left hand side, with Omar A and Salman linking up well to get in behind the Abu Dhabi back line twice in quick succession.
On 20 minutes the deadlock broken and it was an unlikely scorer – Abu Dhabi Thistle's number 25 (Tom) notched his first goal of the season when he glanced home a near post header low into the corner from a looping cross from the left.
Abu Dhabi's number 11 (Adam) added a second shortly after, another near post header this time from a cross from the right hand side, his looping header sailed over the helpless Universal goalkeeper and in to the roof of the net.
It could have been 3 before the break when Abu Dhabi number 12 Mustapha found himself through on goal with time and space but his weak shot was gathered comfortably by the Universal goalkeeper, who by this point was seeing a lot of the ball.
Half-time: Abu Dhabi Thistle 2 – 0 Universal
The second half started and Abu Dhabi Thistle took control right from the whistle. On 35 minutes U14 player of the season Timmy showed impressive strength to evade two challenges in the midfield before sprinting free down the left. He cut back inside and finished confidently with his left foot across the goalkeeper and in to the bottom corner.
Soon after it was 4, a clever flick from Olly (number 8) set Timmy free again down the left and this time he picked out Adam at the back post who finished low and hard.
An impressive low save by the Universal goalkeeper to deny Christian from 25 yards kept the score at 4-0 with ten minutes to play. Further goals from Ethan and a third for Adam brought the match to and end, 6-0 to Abu Dhabi Thistle the final score. A fine performance to cap a memorable campaign.
Full-time: Abu Dhabi Thistle 6 – 0 Universal