Dubai, UAE – 13 March 2017: With the finals of duFC just one step away, the Abu Dhabi, Northern Emirates and Dubai’s 32 strongest teams in the UAE Schools, Streets Cups faced off in the national semi-finals on Saturday to secure their place in the finals of duFC, in partnership with Liga.
The competition’s most intense match day yet witnessed dramatic exits and some favorites clearing their way to the nationwide Finals to be held on March 18, 2017 at Dubai Mall’s Ice Rink in front of thousands of spectators.
The stakes were even higher as teams were not only battling it out to take home the gold and an unforgettable trip to Spain to watch FC Barcelona in a live match in Malaga but also to impress the LaLiga scouts who were closely observing every match of the only international scouting platform in the Middle East.
In a surprising upset, UAE Schools Cup Boys U16 defending champions International School of Choueifat (Dubai) suffered a major defeat at the hands, of Al Mawakeb School Garhoud, with the deciding goals scored just moments before the final whistle. Al Mawakeb Schools Garhoud will face Al Maarifa Private School, Sharjah for the championship, who defeated Abu Dhabi’s International Academic School (IAS).
International School of Choueifat (Dubai) will play IAS for third place.
In the Boys U14 category, in a surprise turn of events the young players from Hatta’s Rashid Bin Saeed School beat tournament favorites Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) in their final and toughest match of the day - securing their spot in the Finals. Rashid Bin Saeed will face off against Abu Dhabi’s British School Al Khubairat who displayed superior technical skills throughout the tournament and manage to outplay the strong Al Ain’s Al Khazna team.
DESC will face Al Khazna for third place.
The Streets Cup also had its share of surprises. While the standard of football of all 8 teams was impressive, top seeded Kamikaze drew with Ultimate XI, but the superior skills of Ultimate XI’s goal keeper allowed his team to move forward to the finals in a nail-biting penalty shootout. They will meet Abu Dhabi’s Al 7osani who defeated Al Ain’s Classic Team in a close game.
Classic Team and Kamikaze will battle it out for third place.
The Girls Challenge’s expansion to include academies paved the way to a higher level of competition, with 4 academy teams qualifying for the Finals. The competition was fierce and friends and families treated to some superb football. Although school teams demonstrated high level of football, especially Abu Dhabai’s British School and Fujairah’s Al Shiffa Sun School from Kalba, they were not able to compete with the academies.
After defeating Abu Dhabi Country Club with a deciding goal near the end of the game, Adastra will face in the final Go Pro Sports who defeated Fusion FC in an impressive show of football from both sides.
Fusion FC and Abu Dhabi Country Club will play for 3rd place in the Finals.
Championship Director, Michel Salgado wished the finalists luck ahead of the finals, “We have some very exciting finals to look forward to with a fantastic level of football which I have seen this week. I wish all the teams’ going into the finals the best of luck.”
The top eight finalist teams will face off against each other at what promises to be an unforgettable day of finals at the ice rink at Dubai Mall on 18th March 2017.
The du Football Championship is a nationwide initiative that aims to achieve sustainable human development through the discovery of promising talents, who will raise the bar on local and national teams as they become the next generation of pro male and female footballers.