KUWAIT: On the turn of the season, when the cold winds refused to make way for a warmer weather, the United Goans Center held the Inter-School Soccer tournament for kids under the age of 14 at the Surra ground. Since its initiation in 1976, the UGC has always promoted the beautiful game among children. In 2000, UGC had also organized a similar tournament on Sour Grounds which saw Jabriya Indian School lift the Inter School trophy that year.
Their Slogan ‘Friendship through Sports’ helps stand as a reminder to theses young athletes as they mature into grown footballers that though it is a tournament, one must maintain that sportsmanship and discipline at all times; be it on the field or off.
Since its inception, UGC breathed life into football in Kuwait, at a time when the sport had almost been forgotten. Now it has taken a leading role in allowing school-going kids to compete with each other from different schools to help shape the next round of home grown footballers in Kuwait to take part in local sporting events.
Not many kids have the luxury of making it into first teams as older players are always prefered due to their vast experience. But this year the UGC decided to give them a chance to show what they are made of by conducting the tournament for under 14 year olds to commemorate the 40th edition UGC soccer tournament Final.
Eight schools that had taken part in the tournament are: Indian Public School (IPS), Bhavans, Indian Central School, Don Bosco (IEAS), Carmel School, Indian International School, United Indian School and Delhi Public School (DPS). It was a 9-a-side match for 20 minutes full time with rolling substitutes. The first match was played between Indian Public School and Bhavans and it ended in 1-1 draw after full-time. Spot Kicks were held to decide on a winner and Indian Public School got the better of Bhavans and moved on to the next round. The second match saw Indian Central School take on Don Bosco – IEAS.
The match ended in a similar 1-1 draw. After yet another round of spot kicks, Indian Central School walked away with a 3-2 victory over Don Bosco due to the calm and composed penalty shots taken by their players. In the third match, United Indian School beat Indian International School by 2 goals to 1. And the fourth match saw Carmel School claim victory with the courtesy of a walkover as Delhi Public School team failed to turn up. The first semi-final saw United Indian School get the best of Carmel School by a 1 goal margin.
The lone goal was scored by Shaheen of United Indian School. The second semi-final had a similar result with Indian Central School overcoming Indian Public School by a single goal margin. Sandip of Indian Central School was able to find the back of the net to take his team into the finals against United Indian School. Though not all teams won, every player was gifted with their own goodie bag with assorted gifts courtesy of Al Yasra foods. The tournament finals between Indian Central School and United Indian School will be held on April 1st 2016 before the men’s final of the UGC 40th edition soccer tournament. The UGC 40th edition Men’s Soccer Semi finals will be held on the 11th March 2016 between AVC Football club vs Goa Maroons at 6:45 am. The second semi final will be held between Skynet and Kerela Challengers at 8:00 am. The winners from both matches will face each other on 1st April 2016 for the finals