ASPIRE ACADEMY GENERATION 2000 WINS LATEST TRI-SERIES TOURNAMENT
04 Apr 2018, General
Doha 5 April 2018: Aspire Academy U-18 football team emerged victorious in the latest Tri-Series tournament that featured Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia and FC Nasaf from Uzbekistan. Generation 2000 team kicked of the tournament with a polished 2-0 win over the visitors from Uzbekistan courtesy of goals from Abdalaziz Al Hasia (20 mins) and Ahmed Haaga (60). When Etoile du Sahel and FC Nasaf played out a 2-2 draw on match day 2, Aspire did the numbers and realized a win over the Tunisian would hand them the Tri-Series Cup.
On Wednesday 4th April, Aspire U-18 of who a good number of players form the Qatar U-19 team scheduled to compete in Asia Confederation finals later in the year engaged their North African counterparts in the winner takes all match. The boys from Sousse in the Sahel region of Tunisia dominated the early exchanges and took a 2- nil lead in the first 30 minutes of the game. Thirteen minutes later Ahmed Haaga started the comeback with a well taken goal that gave hope to Aspire as they went into the half time break.
The momentum swung Aspire’s way in the second half and on 48th minute Nasser Al Yazidi equalized. Sensing victory the Aspire boys upped the ante and raided Etoile du Sahel goal looking to take the lead for the first time in the match. It wasn’t long before that happened when substitute Mohammed Bahrameni scored for the home side on 50th minute. Etoile du Sahel were stunned and as they battle to make sense of it all, Aspire struck again on 52nd minute for the fourth goal through Ahmed Alganehi
Aspire Academy U-18 head coach Hedider Abderrazak was full of praise for his charges, “The boys showed immense character to come back from a two goal deficit against a solid opponent. This was an interesting Tri-Series were we had to contest with FC Nasaf who provided the kind of challenge we will expert from Asian opponents and Etoile du Sahel giving us some similarities to the Arab teams we will face in the AFC U-19 finals in October. All in all, it was worthy preparation for us and l am most pleased that we continued battling and worked our way from defeat to victory and ultimately won this Tri-Series tournament”, concluded coach Abderrazak.
Meanwhile tournament debutants, FC Nasaf assistant head of delegation, Ravshan Nikimbaev hailed the fantastic facilities at Aspire, the hospitality and tournament organization saying, “We are delighted to have been invited to play in this Tri-Series tournament at Aspire and it has been a very good experience for us. We will take many valuable lessons from our participation. It’s our first time here and for our boys this is rich experience which can only serve to develop them further as players. Both Aspire Academy and Etoile du Sahel played good football and proved slightly more experienced than our boys but our boys put in a commendable challenge and l am pleased that we were able to compete equally in this tournament.”
Etoile du Sahel won the Generation 2001 and 2003 categories and head coach for their 2003 team, Wael Belakhal said afterwards, “It has been great experience for players and staff to play in the Tri-series tournament and the benefits from participating and competing against strong teams are huge. I was most pleased that we recovered from 3-1 at half time to snatch a 3-3 draw that was good enough for us to claim the Cup in U-15. Qatar and Tunisia enjoy very good relationships across many sectors as evidenced by our senior national under the guidance of coach Nabil Maaloul who held a successful training camp here at Aspire Academy in January this year. The next Tri-Series and last one of the season will take place from the 29th April to 3rd of May and will feature generation 2002 and 2004 National teams from Tunisia and Iran