Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 15 April 2018: One of the most anticipated days at the du Football Champions - the national semi-finals, took place on Saturday where the 48 strongest youth football teams from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Northern Emirates and Dubai faced off for the first time to secure their place in the finals of du Football Champions taking place at Dubai Mall on 20th April.
Home of the UAE Schools & Streets Cups, the nations official cups and in partnership with LaLiga, teams playing in the semi-finals kicked off their matches with great energy supported by crowds of friends and fans.
The stakes were higher as teams battled it out to secure a place in the finals for a chance to take home the gold while eager to catch the eyes of LaLiga scouts looking for top players for the du LaLiga HPC teams.
Commenting on the national semi-finals, Abdulwahed Juma, Executive Vice President of Brand and Corporate Communications, du, said, “du Football Champions is a platform to empower our talented youth to take up professional football as a career at international levels. We congratulate the teams moving forward to the Finals and wish them the very best.”
UAE Schools Cup
With a strong line up of teams from across the nation, the U16 Schools Cup matches were intense and the level of play impressive.
The boys from The International School of Choueifat - Dubai and Al Maarifa International Private School Sharjah outplayed their counterparts from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Northern Emirates.
Both teams impressed with their focus approach, fantastic technical skills and team beating some of the top school football teams across the nation including DESC who was the tournament favorite.
DESC with face off against Emirates Private School Al Ain for third place.
In the Boys U14 category, returning champions the young boys from Hatta's Rashid Bin Saeed School played with one objective – to make it to the finals and were able to make it through groups stages to meet the British School Khubairat (BSAK) in their final match, repeating last years unforgettable finals match. However this year it was the young boys from Abu Dhabi's BSAK who took the victory.
British School Al Khubairat will meet Sultan Bin Zayed School - Al Ain at the finals. Rashid Bin Saeed School Hatta will face The French School LFIGP for third place.
In the newly added U12 category, young talented footballers played like pros while LaLiga scouts looked on to find the players with the greatest potential to be developed into pro football players at LaLiga standards.
The French School LFIGP and Dubai National School Al Twar fought battle after battle, facing their toughest matches against New Academy School and British School Al Khubairat to make it to the national finals.
International School of Choueifat Al Ain will face Al Dhafra Private Schools Al Ain for the third place
UAE Streets Cup
The Streets Cup U16 had its share of surprises.
With a superior standard of football on display and over 12 nationalities making up the 8 competing teams, it was Al Nujoom of Dubai and Liwa Players who began to look like favorites after the first round of matches.
Al Nujoom met Grinta from Norther Emirates in the final match of the day while Liwa Players met Professionals from Northern Emirates and with an even level of skill across all teams, it was Professional's who took the win from Liwa Players and a nail biting penalty shoot-out that saw Al Nujoom taking the win.
Professional will face off against Liew Players in what will be one of the most memorable matches of the day.
Grinta and Liwa Players will battle it out for third place.
In the U14 category Al Ain's Mavericks and Abu Dhabi's Thistle red breezed through their matches and will face off at the finals, while Oscar FC will meet Future Stars for third place.
The du Football Champions 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.