Al Nasr crowned champions in the U14 & U16 categories
DUBAI — The Dubai Sports Council Challenge Cup, crowning jewel of Dubai Sports Council’s football season, pitted the best academy teams against the best club teams at Dubai Sports City last weekend.
The du LaLiga HPC boys U18 cemented their status as the best team, beating the top club and academy teams in this year’s Challenge Cup, and the du LaLiga HPC Girls U18 were also victorious, kicking off their first season with a title. Al Nasr Club took home two golds in U14 and U16, as did Spanish Soccer School’s Iniesta in the U10s and U12 categories.
The boys’ U18 game proved to be a test of not only talent and teamwork, but of endurance as the games went into penalties after extra time. Two spectacular saves by HPC’s starting keeper put them in the lead qualifying them for the finals against top club Al Nasr. On Saturday, though Al Nasr U18 proved to be no match for the Spanish-trained team whose 2-1 win was the result of a consistent and unrelenting offensive.
In U16 games, Al Nasr beat City FC, while du LaLiga HPC netted their winning goal in extra time against Al Wasl setting the stage for a fierce fight for first the following day. Al Nasr cleared their way to the U16 title with a 3-1 win over contenders du LaLiga HPC.
Finally, in a major upset for the U14 academies, Al Nasr and Al Wasl clubs both eliminated academies SSS Iniesta and City FC respectively in the semis. Facing off in the finals, Al Nasr beat Al Wasl 1–0.
The semi-final matches for the younger boys set the tone for the weekend. League Champions, SSS Iniesta’s fast games, fierce offense and on point goals took them all the way to the title as they beat Al Wasl 4-1 in U10s final and City FC 4-2 in the U12s.
Not to be outdone, the du LaLiga HPC U18 girls also took home the title, netting 3 goals and conceding none.
Saturday’s Awards Ceremony celebrated the football community, recognizing all who have contributed to the success of the season, including organizers and service providers, that ended in The Challenge Cup weekend.
Top Scorer awards were given to Anthony Khayat (Iniesta) and Quais El Safadi (Barca Xavi) for U12; Adria Anglada (Iniesta) in U14, Hussein Hawi (du LaLiga HPC) in U16; Omar Zoubi and Anas Hakmi (Iniesta) in U18; and Karin Bedoyan (du LaLiga HPC) in the Girls U18.
Medals and trophies were also given to the first and second place teams of the Dubai Sports Council Academy League in each group.