Abu Dhabi, UAE Tuesday, March 24 2015:
The final round of group stage matches at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre's Play for Life 2015 produced excitement and heartbreak in equal measure as the eight quarter finalists were decided.
The annual event, now in its eighth year, has wittled down the 16 teams to eight teams, with newcomers like Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) earning a place in the quarter finals.
EAD, also on-board as the event's silver sponsor, gave Injazat's defenders and goalie a good run-around, racking up eight goals.
That result meant returning team and tournament supporter, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), had to avoid defeat in their match against the already qualified Yahsat. But in a closely fought contest they lost by the odd goal and didn't progress (0-1).
Meanwhile in Group B, the Department of Finance (DOF) narrowly missed securing their spot in the last eight, despite an exciting 3-2 win over Daman, having been 2-1 down at one stage.
In the all-important other match, SEHA cruised to a 3-1 win against Mubadala, who were eliminated, unable to repeat their run to the Play for Life final in 2014.
This left SEHA, DOF and Daman all on six points, with SEHA and Daman progressing by virtue of a superior goal difference over DOF.
The action wasn't quite as dramatic in Group D as defending champions and two-time cup winners, Takreer secured their quarter final berth along with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).
In fact, Takreer had the night off after ADNEC were unable to complete their final group game. The match was awarded as a 3-0 walkover.
Meanwhile, the much fancied ADSC maintained their perfect record with a 2-1 victory over Dolphin Energy.
In the night's final encounters, ALDAR grabbed a precious 1-0 win against ECSSR, knocking out their opponents in the process.
In the last match ADS (Securities) sealed their passage to the knock-out stages with an easy 6-1 win against ICLDC, who lost all their games but were at least able to notch their first goal of tournament.
There are five trophies up for grabs again this year - the tournament winner, and one each for best goal scorer, best goal keeper, man of the tournament and fair play.
Play for Life is staged nightly at Zayed Sports City’s main stadium, with the final on Thursday March 26.
It is part of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre’s public health awareness camapign, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.