Defending champions Saudi Driving School defeated former three-time winners Fohood Zabeel 2-1 in a tense futsal final. Image Credit: DSC

Dubai: The seventh edition of the Nad Al Sheba Ramadan Sports Tournament — the biggest yet with more than 6,500 participants across 13 events — came to a close late on Friday with Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), presenting Saudi Driving School (SDS) with the winner’s trophy following the futsal final.

Saudi Driving School, winners of the title as Emirates Driving Institute last year, defended their crown after a well-contested 2-1 win over three-time former winners Fohood Zabeel, with all three goals coming in the first half.

Fohood Zabeel, however, had the consolation of winning three individual awards — Hassan Ali Hassan (Best Goalkeeper), Jamil Ahmad (Best Emirati Player) and Williams Oliveira Do Nascimento (Best Foreign Player). Thiago Tellis Martinez of Al Taher was the tournament’s topscorer with 14 goals.

The top three teams received their medals and trophies from Shaikh Mansour in the presence of Saeed Hareb, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council and Hassan Al Mazroui, Director of NAS Ramadan Sports Tournament.

What stood out for this team is our defence, not just in the final but during the entire tournament.

- Duda, SDS coach

Fohood Zabeel took the lead in the 11th minute when Sabri Jameel slipped in from the left and found the far corner of the SDS goal. Galal Sayadi got an equaliser in the 18th minute and then with 31.6 seconds left for half-time, Edson Gomes Dos Santos poked in for what turned out to be the match-winner as they held out for the full 20 minutes of the second half.

“What stood out for this team is our defence, not just in the final but during the entire tournament,” SDS coach Duda told Gulf News.

“This has been a long campaign with very little time for players to recover from fatigue. But they’ve done well to keep mistakes to a minimum and that eventually proved to be the strong point of this squad. This is what won us this trophy,” he added.

Representatives from all the sponsors of NAS Ramadan Sports Tournament 2019 — Dubai Duty Free, DP World, Meydan, Al Tayer Motors, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, RTA of Dubai, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Supply, Arabian Radio Network, Noon and Al Baddad — were also honoured at the closing ceremony.