Dubai: Al Hilal have promised to bank on humility as they take on the might of defending champions Flamengo in the final of the Dubai International U16 Football Championship that concludes at the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club ground, on Friday.
Both chasing a second title in Dubai, Al Hilal drubbed Atletico Madrid 4-1, while the defending champions from Brazil handed out a 10-0 thrashing to hosts Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club to set up a mouth-watering final.
Flamengo have been the team to watch while shrugging off tough challenges after a fire two months ago at their training site had claimed the lives of ten young players, including three who would have been in this squad.
But Al Hilal have displayed true strength of character and gutsy displays including convincing wins against Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.
“We will keep all our humility as we face the strongest team of this competition,” Al Hilal coach Carlos Inarejos told Gulf News after yet another convincing display from his side.
“Flamengo is such a world-class team, and we have so much work to be done. We have won the league back home, but that is a different competition altogether. We know we will be up against a good team, and we will have to do our best to win this one as well and take the trophy home like we did in 2016,” he added.
Al Hilal’s cause was aided by a hat-trick from tournament’s top-scorer Abdullah Hadi Radif, while Khalid Ali Noman added a fourth. Javier Caballero bagged a consolation late in the match as the boys from Riyadh booked their third straight spot in the final in as many years.
In the second match of the evening, Flamengo proved their class once again with a double-digit scoreline for the second time in four matches. A day earlier, the Brazilians had toyed with Hatta before winning 11-0 following up on 4-0 and 3-0 wins against Atletico Madrid and Al Nasr, respectively.
“The final will be decided on the details,” Inarejos explained.
“We can’t drop our guard down for even a second, and every mistake, be it from us or from them, will give the other team the opportunity to punish,” he added.
The third place play-off between Atletico Madrid and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will be at 3.45pm, followed by the final at 6pm.
Semi-finals: Al Hilal 4 Atletico Madrid 1
Flamengo 10 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 0.
Atletico Madrid v Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, 3.45pm
Flamengo v Al Hilal, 6pm