The highly anticipated Dubai knockouts stage of the official UAE Schools & Streets Cups, the nations official youth football tournament, saw a fantastic line up of the strongest Dubai Schools and Streets Cups teams competing for the few remaining spots in the national semi-finals of du Football Champions, where they will meet their counterparts from Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates. The nation semi-finals are scheduled to take place at The Sevens on 14th April 2018 where winning teams from Northern Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will meet for the first time to battle it out for their spot in the Finals of du Football Champions.
The initiative, in its third season has brought together hundreds of thousands of youth across the UAE, all driven by their love for football and aspirations to be discovered by LaLiga and be given the opportunity to pursue a career in professional football.
Commenting on the Dubai knock outs Abdulwahed Juma, Executive Vice President of Brand and Corporate Communications, du, said, “We are very proud of all the youth who have come out this season to play their favourite sport and congratulate those who have made it through to the national semi-finals. This platform continues to deliver on its promise of providing UAE’s footballers with a clear pathway to pro-football, while at the same time enabling them to compete in world-class tournament.”
UAE Schools Cup
The teams competing in the knock outs in all three Schools Cups categories this season brought a very high standard of football to the pitches, all equally matched in skill and determination, making each match a spectacular display of football.
In the U16 category it was one battle after another as DESC and Dubai Secondary began to look like strong contenders after the first found of matches breezing past Dubai National School Al Barsha and Al Mawakb Al Garhoud. In an upset Dubai Secondary School overwhelmed National Charity School and took the first spot and they will be joined by DESC and The International School of Choueifat who made it through and they will meet their counterparts from Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates for the first-time at the national semi-finals on 14th April.
The U14s pathway to the semi-finals was filled with emotion and upsets. New Academy were unexpectedly taken out in the first round by the French school LFIGP, which went on to beat DIS Garhoud and secure their spot in the next round. Joining them are DESC and Dubai International School Garhoud who got their second chance against National Charity School who they beat 4-1.
The young boys in the U12 category played the most challenging matches to date with many strong contenders battling it out for their spots in the next round. It was the French school LFIGP and Dubai National School Al Twar who took the first two spots. The most intense match of the day saw New Academy School and LaLiga Academy Blue battling it out for the final spot in the U12 category. It was the young boys from New Academy who were able to create the opportunity for a fantastic goal and take the match at the final whistle.
The largest tournament for girls in the nation which this season attracted the likes of the UAE national team, demonstrating the value of the platform in supporting women’s sport across the nation, witnessed tough matches from start to finish. The girls from the UAE National Team were determined to make it into the national semi-finals and played fearlessly breezing through their first match with a 9-0 win. They faced off against last year’s winners GoPro Sports in their second match in a nail biting match with high stakes and the final whistle saw them at a tie which lead to a penalty shoot out. With pressure on goal keepers, it was the UAE National Team keeper who was the star of the match saving 2 of 3 penalties to take her team through to the finals. Joining them are FC Academy and GoPro Sports who took the final spot after playing the last match of the day against IFA Adastra.
UAE Streets Cup
With a huge turn out of teams in the U16 Streets Cup category, the crowd was treated to some of the best football to date on the pitches this week. Teams spirits were high, they were motivated to play and win and took the challenge on head first. The teams moving forward from Dubai are Irance FC and Al Nujoom.
While in the U14 LaLiga Academy and Titans will meet their counterparts at the national semi-finals.
Full games results are posted on www.dufc.ae