Dubai Football 7s - Cup Finals Report
13/03/10By Graham Taylor
Dubai – 13 March 2010
***PUBLISHED IN ARAB NEWS***
Glasgow Celtic FC were crowned the first ever legends champions at the Emirates Airline Dubai Football 7s after a thrilling Cup final at The Sevens tonight.
The Scottish team took a 2-0 nil lead, thanks to goals from Andy Walker and Pierre van Hooijdonk and it looked like they had the match in the bag. But an exhilarating final five minutes saw AC Milan clawing their way back in with an impressive fight-back with goals coming from the tournament’s top goal-scorer Paolo Di Canio and Stefano Eranio.
That took the match into extra time and it was eventually a stunning goal in the corner of the net from Van Hooijdonk that sealed the match 3-2 for the Celtic Legends.
The Celtic Legends’ semifinal match against Liverpool had also gone into extra time before they bagged a 1-0 victory to book their spot in the final while AC Milan had reached the final by defeating Rangers 4-1.
“To be honest, I wasn’t very happy with my performance over the last two days so it was great to come back and score the winning goal in the final. That really saved me,” said Van Hooijdonk afterwards.
“For all of us players’, being able to play football like this is still the best thing in the world. It was also great to watch the young players in the professionals tournament. It was a very high standard and good quality football. We may be the legends, but they are the coming legends,” added the Dutch star.
A little earlier in the evening, a determined Olympiacos side lifted the professionals Cup after a 2-0 victory over Leeds with both goals coming from the boot of Georgios Niklitsiotis.
Olympiacos has recorded a 2-1 victory in their semi-final clash against AC Milan while Leeds had earlier defeated Arsenal 2-0 to reach the final.
“We are all very happy with this result. This was a big experience for all of us players and the staff and we are happy to return back to Greece having won. We believed in our skills and that we could win,” said Leonidas Panagopoulos, after his side’s victory.
Leeds United’s Liam Darville reckoned: “We are pretty disappointed but I think we’ve done ourselves proud over the last two days and we would love to come back to Dubai to play next year.”
In the second tier Trophy competition (for the losing quarterfinalists), it was the Arsenal Legends who took the legends honours with a 3-2 victory over the UAE 1990 Legends while Blackburn Rovers claimed the Professionals Trophy with a convincing 5-0 win over Feyenoord Rotterdam.