• UAE Nationals record 6 out of 12 teams progressing to Semi Finals in the Boys Categories
• Returning champions in U16 Boys Lycee Francais International George Pompidou keep their eye on the gold
• Defending Champions in U17 Girls St. Mary’s Catholic School upstaged by new comers German International School
• 2014 U17 Girl runners Lycee Francais International George Pompidou Breeze Through to Semis
• Boys U12 Defending Champions Dubai National Schools lost upended by newcomers New World Private School
Dubai, UAE – 1 Mar 2015 –Dubai Schools Cup, the official Dubai schools football tournament, witnessed some of the most remarkable moments to date in its Round of 16 and Quarter finals this Saturday.
With the opportunity of a lifetime to watch the Manchester Derby in April at arm’s length, the promising athletes of the tournament pulled out all stops this week and impressed the crowds with their quick play making ability and tactical passes, but team spirit and fair play were the theme of the day.
Ali Omar, Director of Sports Development Department at Dubai Sports Council commented on the day of matches, “The Dubai Schools Cup provides Dubai school children from all nationalities with a unique platform where their skills are tested every week and they have to up their game continuously to stay in the competition. Every week I discover new talent and I have no doubt some of these young players have a promising future ahead.”
Strong contenders in the U14 boy’s category are Rashid Bin Saeed School for boys and Le Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé. These young boys demonstrated a maturity beyond their years today as they rose to the occasion and raced their way into the semifinals with total 10 and 9 goals scored respectively through the Round of 16 and Quarter Finals. The other two schools moving forward are National Charity School and Lycee Francais International George Pompidou.
Football Legend and Dubai Schools Cup Director, Michel Salgado was observing the matches yesterday an said, “What is unique about the Dubai Schools Football Cup is what we call pure football - it is like creating a tournament for kids of all footballing capabilities from street football and upwards and it is great to see these amazing kids competing.”
“This year the tournament is becoming even bigger more schools, players and especially more girls. This is a great opportunity for Dubai as well to develop players and give them the hope to become professional footballers. I am keeping an eye on all the boys and girls this year,” Salgado added.
In the toughest age category this year, the U16 boys, it was anyone’s game as the day started. In the first match of the day played on the Tahoe pitch Dubai International School (DIS) Al Quoz raised their game and defeated favorites Dubai National School Al Barsha 3-1. Their winning streak saw them through a tough penalty shoot-out in their quarter finals against Al Ittihad Private School-Jumeira.
Emotional after missing his penalty Yousef said after the victory,” Tough game and tough opponent. We won through the penalties. When I missed the first penalty I was very upset- almost in tears- I almost cost my team the game and we have been working so hard to get to where we are. This is our first time to participate in the Dubai Schools Cup. I am very excited about the possibility of winning. If we win it would be my first trip to the UK and an amazing experience to go to Old Trafford and be trained by ManU coaches.”
Commenting at this week’s performance Hussein Murad, CEO Inspiratus, the organizers of the Dubai Schools Cup said, “What we are celebrating today is not only the victories of the students but also the development of these future talents, which we have witnessed before our eyes week on week. The level and standard of football being played is very high this year and the finals are shaping up to offer the best youth football play in the UAE to date!”
DIS Al Quoz will be up against last year’s winners Lycee Francais International George Pompidou, last year’s runner ups International School of Choueifat and newcomers Salman Farsi Boys School, in what promises to be an unforgettable semi-finals and finals next Saturday.
“We are always going for the win, we never look back, and we learn from our mistakes, we have been through a lot as a team especially after last year when we came so close to winning the tournament. It feels great that we qualified and we won’t let the prize get in our heads, said Naser, Captain from International School of Choueifat-Dubai after qualifying.
The young boys from the U12 category who have the greatest potential to become the football champions of the future scored the highest number cumulative goals in their category with 18 goals scored at the end of the day. Moving to the semifinals is an all Emirati line-up of Al Khaleej National School, New World Private School, Al Shafie School and National Charity School.
Some of the most impressive plays were demonstrated by the U17 Girls. Strength, strategy and love of the game saw the top 4 teams fly into the semifinals.
Saving the day with unparalleled focus Tammy, goalkeeper from Lycee Francais International George Pompidou, led the team to their victory with her goal keeping talents. The girls from the French school are the only team going into the next round with a clean record of zero goals conceded. They will be joined in the semi-finals with a strong lineup which includes German International School, GEMS Wellington International and The Winchester School (Jebel Ali).
4 winners in each category face off next week for the semifinals and finals. With the determination and skill on display this week, the gold could be anyone’s in what promises to be a monumental day of matches.
This week’s full scores are posted on http://www.dubaischoolsfc.com and https://www.facebook.com/DubaiSchoolsFC
The Dubai Schools Cup Finals will take place Saturday, 7 March from 9am – 5pm at Dubai Sports City. Teams will compete in four categories: Boys U12, U14, U16 and Girls U17. All Dubai Schools Cup matches will take place at Dubai Sports City on its 7 FIFA approved pitches.