RAMPANT ASPIRE ACADEMY STORMS INTO AL KASS CUP SEMI-FINAL
26 Jan 2017, General
Doha, 26 January 2017. Aspire Academy continued its fine run in the 2017 Al Kass International Cup with a well-deserved 2-1 victory over Esperance of Tunis in a quarter final match played on Thursday 26 January. Goals from Hashim Ali in the first half and a second from substitute Yusuf in second half propelled Aspire into the semi-final where will meet either Red Bull Salzburg or Paris Saint Germain.
It has been a fantastic run so far for Coach Bruno Miguel Nogueira who started the game more purposefully against the taller and more physical Tunisians. Sixteen minutes into the match Ali put Aspire in front after right back Mohamed Mohamed launched a long kick in behind Esperance’s defence. Ali beat Afif Jebali for both strength and pace and an outstretched foot guided the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.
Esperance stunned by the goal responded by bombarding the Aspire goal but keeper Shehab Ellethy was in fine form and thwarted the Tunisians each time they attempted to score. So outstanding was Ellethy that he was awarded the man of the match prize. He was eventually beaten by Oussama Gurbouj in added on time but by then Aspire were coasting at 2- nil after a superb strike from Yusuf fifteen minutes from the end.
Aspire Academy head coach Bruno Miguel Nogueira paid tribute to Esperance who he described as tough opponents, “The fact that we managed to win against a strong Esperance side tells you how well Aspire played today. We set out our tactics right to get the best out of an opposition with a playing style that could have caused us huge problems if we did not have an answer for it. As l said before, we will take one game at a time and continue playing as best as we can and see where that takes us”, said Nogueira.