After a huge 7-1 win against RBH on the opening day, Al Joker overcame early jitters before powering past Samba 6-1.
Al Joker led 3-1 at half-time with Ahmed Salah, Miguelin Sayago and Marcenio Ribeiro Da Silva scoring one each after Omar Juma had pulled one back for Samba.
But Al Joker were clinical in the second-half as they added three more goals to put the match beyond the reach of Samba.
“The key was the early part of the second-half. We needed to make sure we did not make any mistakes and allow them to fight back. I think we executed this plan well and caught them on the quick counters,” goalscorer Sayago said.
“We have one more group match and we hope we can get into the knockouts with a clean slate.” Al Wasl also booked their place in the latter stages with an emphatic 6-3 win against Surprise.
Al Wasl, who beat Jumairah 10-1 on the opening day, were initially taken by surprise as their opponents led by an early Sergio Jumar De Sousa goal. But Al Wasl fought back for an equaliser through Javier Adolfo Salas and Spaniard Carlos Gonzalvez Corvo, who went on to get four goals for the winners. Jumar scored his second as the two teams went in at the break tied 2-2.
In the second-half, Corvo and Jumar scored once each and then the referee gave a straight red card to the latter, which broke Surprise’s resistance.
YLS-1 earned a place in the knockouts when their opponents Jumeirah failed to turn up for their match. As per the rules, YLS-1 were awarded a 7-0 victory.
Abu Dhabi Grammar School Under- 11s football team were honoured for winning their first title during a Sports Banquet ceremony.
The 12-man squad ended their five-year wait for glory earlier this year after triumphing in the Abu Dhabi International School Sports Association (ADISSA) competition.
Mohamed Al Mohana was the star for the champions as his brace was enough to beat British School of Al Khubairat 2-1 in the final.
The team joined their peers, with the Under-12 and Under-14 rugby and football teams also honoured, while the girls’ Under-12 and Under- 14 football and touch rugby sides also received accolades. Under-11 football coach Sorin Petcu was delighted that his team’s feat was recognised.
“I am very happy and proud to have been coach of this team because these young boys have improved so much,” said Petcu. “In the last academic year, we were losing almost every game, so the boys take a lot of credit for this.”
There was more reason to celebrate for Petcu, who was named Coach of the Year.
“I could not be happier because this is the second year in a row that I’ve won,” he said. “The boys get full credit for the achievement as one of the main goals when I came to this job was to win trophies and this would not have been made possible without the boys, who’ve put in so much effort over the year.”
The Goju Kai Karate Academy will be launched in the new academic year with after-school and weekend classes at GEMS Wellington Academy, International School, New Millennium School (all Al Khail), Wellington International School and Al Khaleej National School.
Open to pupils, aged between four and 18, classes will be delivered by qualified Japanese graded instructors under the head of Peter Brandon, vice-president of Goju Kai International.
While Goju Kai Karate is not as widely popular as other sports in the UAE, there are plenty of advantages that youngsters can gain that will help them in everyday life.
“Goju Kai is more than just a sport,” said Graham Corbyn, head of Academy Plus. “It can develop leadership skills; help them become a better individual in terms of building mental strength as well as physical strength.
“This sport helps them attain a number of skills that they can attain and at Academy Plus, we want them to develop and learn those new skills.“This will help them build their focus and confidence.”
To ensure UAE kids are receiving the best education, multiple-time world champion Frank Brandon Shihan has been appointed the programme’s technical director.
During the 10-week programme, students will have the opportunity to travel to Japan and Europe on cultural exchange programmes to compete in tournaments.