It was a day of football action at The World School Games in Dubai on Friday as 12 teams from across the globe travelled to Sports City on the second of three days of competition.
In a busy morning of group-stage action a number of teams started well, with the home schools all looking to make an impression on the travelling sides from Nigeria, Uganda, Spain and Greece in hot conditions.
The teams and supporters were in good spirits as the matches got underway, and with a number of parents and friends in attendance there was added importance hanging over the football action.
In Girls’ Pool A, Jumeirah Primary School and St Saviour’s Ikoyi took early advantage with 2-0 victories in their first matches against Dubai British School and EIC Marbella respectively. The day would start is at would end with Jumeirah and St Saviour’s both progressing to the semi final stage.
It was too tight to call in Girls’ Pool B, with four 0-0 draws recorded in the first six matches. The goals began to come later in the morning however, with St Catherine’s British School and Children’s International School eventually progressing to the semi-finals.
In Boys’ Pool A, it was again St Saviour’s and Jumeirah Primary School who started strongest – both recording four victories out of five group stage matches. The only blip in an otherwise perfect record was a 1-1 draw – against each other in their final group matches. The two schools marched into the semi finals in high spirits.
Pool B for the boys was a much closer affair, with fewer than two goals separating the teams in all but two of the group-stage matches. GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis and Children’s International School Lagos were Pool B’s qualifiers after a tough morning of action.
In the girls’ semi finals St Saviour’s took on St Catherine’s British School, while Jumeirah Primary School challenged Children’s International School for a place in the gold medal match.
St Saviour’s and Children’s International School – both representing Nigeria at the Games – were eventual finalists in the girls competition after strong performances earlier in the day. In a tight final played in the blistering Dubai heat, St Saviour’s ran out eventual 1-0 winners after an early goal in the match proved to be enough to separate the two sides.
In the boys’ competition, Jumeirah Primary School took on Children’s International School and GEMS Wellington Silicon Oasis battled St Saviour’s for a place in the final.
Jumeirah Primary School emerged victorious, flying the flag for the United Arab Emirates as they took on St Saviour’s in the gold medal match. In an impressive display the Dubai side put three goals past the Nigerians without reply to take home the gold medal and 120 valuable Championship Points for their team.
Tomorrow is the third at final day at the Games, with all 12 schools going for gold in the swimming event at GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail.