ASPIRE BEAT RANGERS AND REACH AL KASS CUP QUARTER FINALS
08 Feb 2019, General
Doha, 8 February 2019. Aspire Academy put on some fine football display to beat Scottish side Glasgow Rangers 3-1 and claim their first win of AlKass International Cup 2019. In a must win match - if Aspire entertained any hopes of advancing to quarter final stage of the competition, a brace from Fahad Al Abdulla and a strike from Abdulrahman Al Abdulrahman ensured the tournament hosts stay in the hunt for honours.
Aspire’s victory lifted them into second place in group A behind Rangers. Aspire will find out on Saturday 9 February who their quarter-final opponents from Group C will be from FC Bayern, Altinordu FK and Etoile Sportive Du Sahel.
An appreciative capacity crowd spurred Aspire from first whistle and coach Fabio Cesar ‘s charges responded well and matched Rangers man for man. Aspire forward Mekki Tombari picked out Fahad with a delightful ball inside the box. Fahad initial shot was saved by the goalkeeper but he tapped in the rebound to open the scoring. The two teams went into the break with Rangers shading the possession but Aspire looking sharp in attack.
The second half started pretty much the same but Abdulrahman of Aspire made the most of poor back pass by Murray Miller to score Aspire’s second. Stung by that goal, Rangers upped the tempo and managed to get one back when substitute John Lyall dribbling his way by the byline before finding fellow substitute Matt Yates who chested down before lashing his kick into the roof of the net. Aspire restored the two-goal margin when Fahad held off two defenders, then skillfully turning and hit his shot across goal. The shot came off the upright into the net and Aspire win was confirmed. Rangers tried to reduce the deficit but Aspire goalkeeper Yousef Balideh stood tall between the posts. As the clock wound down Rangers thought they had scored a second when a firm header was goal-bound until Balideh sprung to his right and turned it round the upright for a corner. Balideh was named man of the match and deservedly so on the day Aspire beat a Rangers side that has impressed so far in the tournament.