19 Feb 2020
Doha, 19 February 2020. Aspire Academy’s fine run in the 2020 Al Kass International Cup came to an end at the hands of Inter Milan at the quarter final stage but the host should be proud of their performance. Aspire dominated play especially in the first half and created more chances than Inter throughout the game. It was however a set-piece that condemned Aspire to the narrowest of defeats and late in the match when Amadou Sarr header sailed after 81 minutes for only goal of the match.
It was a harsh way to be knocked out for Aspire Academy who almost forced penalty shoot-out when Abdulraham Al Dosari crashed a well taken shot against the post and the rebound couldn’t be turned in much to the agony of the sizeable crowd cheering on Aspire. Aspire, who have played in all nine editions of the tournament, had topped Group A on their way to the quarter-finals, and they were much the better team in the first half with Mohamed Surag a constant threat down the left flank.
Speaking after the match, former Everton and Australia national team player, Tim Cahill who has been part of the Aspire Academy Team coaches at 2020 Al Kass Cup said, “We would have liked to create more chances during our match against Inter Milan, but I’m proud because we showed our style and put our presence in the game and pushed them to the end. Aspire Academy had a lot of talent and now it’s about making sure we keep growing this talent and nurturing it and giving more for the future. The team is really upset, but it’s a really good reaction because you can see how much this means to them as a collective group. We will work to help them create more chances, and we will take a lot of positives from this Tournament.”