'Fiercest UAE club ever': Al Wasl fans on a high after historic victory against Al Nasr

They waited nearly two decades before the club was able to break the trophy drought

by

Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Photo: X / Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Photo: X / Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Published: Sat 18 May 2024, 2:16 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 May 2024, 11:52 AM

It was a match that fans of archrivals Al Nasr and Al Wasl had waited for for 38 years. Emotions ran high as the two clubs went head-to-head at Dubai's Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium for the President’s Cup final on Friday.

And when Al Wasl clinched the trophy and crushed Dubai's Al Nasr 4-0, the stadium erupted in jubilation. The club won their third President Cup title after 17 long years.


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"What we have witnessed was the fiercest and most beautiful Al Wasl ever," said Dr Mansoor Alnuaimi, who has been following the team since the 1980s.


"Al Wasl was absent for years, but we saw them quench the thirst of all their fans, myself included," said Mohammed Abdullah, another avid fan.

Mohammed Abdullah
Mohammed Abdullah

The fact that it was win against their biggest rival Al Nasr added a kick to the victory. The first time the two teams faced each other in the tournament's final was during the 1985/1986 season, and Al Nasr won the title.

"As a devoted fan of this club, enduring nearly two decades without winning a title was tough. However, we were confident that Al Wasl would come back strong — and it happened yesterday (Friday)," Alnuaimi said.

It was a "well-deserved win" for such a hard-working team, said another fan, Salem Al Karbi, a Dubai resident.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

“They will continue next week by securing the league title. It's been a successful season by all measures," he added.

Alnuaimi is also looking forward to another championship. "We want to win in the league and become the first team to achieve a double win," he said.

Better luck next time

Fans of Al Nasr club also prayed for a win but had accepted defeat.

"The team delivered a good performance in the first half, but the red card affected the course of the match." said Yahya Al Sayyid, a fan of the club.

"Despite the loss, we're looking forward to the next one. It will be a challenging season next year," he said.

New trophy design

First held in 1974, The President's Cup is an annual football tournament among UAE clubs from the Pro League and the First Division League. The winner qualifies for the AFC Champions League.

This year, the President's Cup trophy had a new design handcrafted by Emiratis. It features phrases from the national anthem, carrying an inspiring message for the people of the UAE and honouring the country's heritage.

The base of the trophy was made from recycled date palm seeds, and engraved with the UAE Football Association logo.

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