MUSCAT: Competition for a place in the finals was intense on Day Two of the Oman International Youth Cup.
After a frantic first day, teams in the Under 9, 11, 13 and 15 categories played their final group games on an unusually hot day knowing what was required to qualify for the final day on Saturday.
Going into the final two group games, all four U-9 teams were in contention for a place in the final.
A draw for Evolution Sports Qatar proved enough to top the group, with Barcelona Dubai in second. ESG missed out and finished third with Muscat Football Academy fourth. The Gold/Silver decider on Saturday will be contested between Evolution Sports Qatar and Barcelona Dubai, while ESG will play Muscat Football Academy for Bronze.
A very busy second day in the U-11 age group saw each team play four games as the scramble for position came to a close. Torino continued to excel, notching up six wins from six in the group and scoring 43 goals while conceding just one. Manchester City finish second in the group with Barcelona Dubai in third.
The Under-13 category is split into three groups, yielding three separate winners. Arsenal and Genoa battled it out for top spot in Group A with Arsenal emerging victorious in their matchup and winning the group, finishing with four wins from four, scoring 37 and not conceding a goal. Hellas Verona topped Group B with Omani team ESG causing a shock against Inter Milan and winning 2-1 to finish second, ahead of the Italians in third. Torino FC won Group C with three wins from three, 31 goals scored and one against.
Final four U-15 games in the two groups took place with Al Seeb finishing top of the group, posting an impressive record of five wins and one loss from their six games conceding just once. ESG finished the group stage in second, Spanish Soccer Academy in third and Muscat Football Academy in fourth.
Chuck Martini, Football Technical Adviser of Al Jarwani Group, said, “Today was great, with a lot of fantastic play. It was a long day and the European teams played well in the heat. All of the clubs have progressed. We did see some surprise results, however, as ESG beat Inter Milan 2-1 in the Under 13 group. It just shows how amazing football can be, where any team can turn up and beat any other team in a cup competition.”
“It is a fantastic achievement for the Omani teams to reach the Silver finals, and every game has been played in the right spirit. Parents, supports and players have all savoured the experience, and the professional clubs have been really positive about the tournament. Every team has given a glowing review of Oman, the people, the country and the tournament, and the clubs will come back to participate next year. It will be a big boost to the Oman International Youth Cup and we look forward to welcoming them,” he added.
The finals will take place on Saturday where the top four teams in each age group will compete in finals to determine the Bronze, Silver and Gold winners.