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Arsenal Ladies win 1st GCC University Tournament

Arsenal Ladies win 1st GCC University Tournament

This weekend The Royal University for Women of Bahrain hosted a football tournament at Soccer City. 5 teams entered the tournament with guests from YFC in Riyadh (Saudi), The Australian University of Kuwait (AUK), RUW, Arsenal Ladies and Venus all based in Bahrain. On day one all teams played each other with the top 4 teams making it to the semi- final stages on day 2.

With a mix of results on day one the finishing order was Arsenal Ladies top with 10 points, RUW second with 6 points, AUK 3rd with 5 points and YFC 4th with 4 points. This saw Venus leave the competition at this stage.

In the first Semi Final Arsenal Ladies played YFC who they had beaten 2-0 in the group stage. However YFC put up a good fight in the semi and in a close match a goal by Katie Eames of Arsenal was the decider taking them to the final. In the second Semi Final, the hosts RUW faced AUK who had won the previous encounter 3-1. That confidence saw AUK really take the match to RUW and took the lead early on with a fine long range finish. The dominance continued and at half time they were 2-0 up. In the second half another 3 fine finishes put them in the driving seat, but RUW  tried to get back into the game and scored 2 late goals. However 5-2 at the final whistle confirmed a final of Arsenal Ladies vs AUK.

In the 3rd/4th play- off between RUW and YFC a 1-1 draw was followed by a penalty shoot out, this came down to sudden death and after a lot of rounds of shots, YFC eventually got the winning goal and took 3rd place.

The final was set up to be a thrilling encounter since in the group stages a 0-0 draw was the result so both teams were looking to clinch the trophy. Arsenal pressured very early on and created chances, but were unable to convert them. However the deadlock was broken when Katie Eames took a shot on the half volley from a throw in sending Arsenal into the lead. Soon after though a controversial hand ball penalty gave AUK the chance to bring the score equal and it was a well converted penalty. Late in the first half Arsenal restored the lead with a long throw in from Melissa Gut was met by the head of Deena Rahman into the corner of the goal. In the second half AUK again equalised when a deflected free kick went in. Arsenal continued to press to finish off the match and a free kick save towards the end of the match fell to the feet of goal scorer Katie Eames who coolly slotted it past the keeper.

The game ended and Arsenal Ladies were crowned champions of the tournament. Player coach Deena Rahman commented ‘it was great to play vs other teams that we haven’t seen before and I am very proud of how we played all tournament, after finishing top of the group in day one, it would have been a shame to mess up in the knock out stages, but we kept our composure and it was great to end up beating every team in the tournament’. Arsenal Ladies win 1st GCC University Tournament

 

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