23 Feb 2020
Doha, 23 Februart 2020. Aspire Academy finished sixth place in the 2020 Al Kass International Cup after losing a hard battle 2-4 in the positioning game against defending champion Rangers FC. The two teams had drawn 4-4 during the group stages and were again among the goals as the tournament tally reached 109, two more than the previous record set in 2014.
Rangers went ahead on the half-hour mark when Jack Harkness did well to win a header on the halfway line and found Robbie Ure, who fired home. The Rangers skipper grabbed his second on 36 minutes when getting on the end of Leyton Dunlop’s quality pass and he should have completed his hat-trick in the final minute of the half. Harkness broke down the right and set up Ure who hit the bar from close range.
Aspire reduced the arrears on 50 minutes when Al-Quraishi won and converted a penalty. The striker was clipped on the ankle by Kelsey Ewen and fired home the penalty, and just six minutes later Aspire were level when Abdulaziz Al-Naimi tapped home from close range after a fine cross from Talal Al Shaaibi.
Rangers went back in front on 61 minutes when Icelandic youngster Johannes Bjarnason, back following suspension, finished off a great team move involving Francis Jacobs, Ure and Charlie Lindsay.
Aspire skipper Mohamed Surag showed great skill before hitting the bar in the final 10 minutes but Rangers made sure of victory on 89 minutes when Lindsay got on the end of a great pass by Connor Allan. The goal makes him the joint top scorer with Igor Kozlov of FC Zenit with six goals and also helped to earn his fourth man of the match award of the tournament.
“This tournament was a fantastic experience for the players, it has been a very competitive tournament from the first day, competing against the best in the world and our players showed that they are on a very good way to progress and they show great potential for the future. It has been a good learning process for our players to grow. Today’s game was good, the first half time we were down to zero, we created good chances and in the second half time we showed good reaction so I’m very proud of the team for the way they sacrificed on the field and this is what we want to archive and produce competitive players for the future and for the Qatar National team," said Aspire Academy coach Abdulrazak Hedider.