By Sports Reporter/Doha
Real Madrid emerged victorious from a dramatic penalty shootout against Red Bull Salzburg that finished 9-8, after the game of the tournament so far had ended 2-2 in normal time.
The Spaniards will face Aspire Football Dreams in the final after the latter beat Inter Milan 2-0 in the other match yesterday.
Forward Isaac Nuhu opened the scoring for Aspire Football Dreams in the 21st minute, while captain Mohamad Katana Nyanje doubled the lead in the 86th minute.
Real have remained unbeaten in the tournament, although their quarter-final match against Kashiwa Reysol was a goalless affair that was also settled on penalties. Prior to that game, the Spanish side had demonstrated their pedigree with emphatic performances against Paris Saint-Germain and Al-Ahli.
Meanwhile, Red Bull had shown themselves to be a highly organised and a tactically aware outfit, progressing to the semis by easily beating Glasgow Celtic, with only a narrow defeat to Estudiantes blotting their copy book before they eased past Aspire Academy.
Real had belatedly woken up, and began to push forward as the game passed the half hour mark, but were finding it difficult to create genuine chances against a resilient Austrian defence.
Austrian playmaker Dominik Stumberger broke the deadlock on 44 minutes from the penalty spot, after Francisco Torres was adjudged to have shoved Kenan Kirim in the area.
As the second half progressed, Madrid had a series of opportunities culminating in an equaliser in the 64th minute. Following superbly worked interplay through the midfield, the unfortunate Julian Goelles put through his own net while attempting to clear the danger.
Things rapidly got worse for Red Bull, as they fell behind within three minutes. A through ball from Alberto Garcia was not cut out, and Ismael Lohoba raced clear to finish smartly, making the score 2-1.
Having survived a first half when they were the lesser side, Real were now looking like convincing winners, and it was Red Bull who were finding progress difficult.
With 90 minutes up, the fourth official signalled three minutes of added time, and Red Bull poured forward. Sensationally, with time almost up, they found a precious breakthrough when Gabriel Bocchio played a through ball to Benjamin Wallquist, who had abandoned his defensive post to aid the attack. Finishing like an attacker, he levelled the scores with practically the last kick of the game, with a low shot into the far left corner.
Once again, the Al Kass crowd were treated to a penalty shootout, which produced more extraordinary drama. The first ten penalties were all scored, and sudden death ensued. Incredibly, the next four spot kicks were missed or saved, meaning that the teams stayed on level terms, and this remained the case until, unbelievably, each side had taken 10 kicks each, and it came down to the goalkeepers to take penalties.
Real’s Francisco Pujante scored easily, and then saved his opposite number Felix Wilfing’s effort, sending an elated Real side through to the final as Red Bull’s hopes at the championship disintegrated into thin air.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
‘It’s for you’, tearful Klopp to Reds fans
Sheikh Mohamed’s Big Five wins Prix Matahawk in France
Djoko’s coach Ivanisevic also positive for coronavirus
‘More than just football’, media hail Klopp, Liverpool
Rhule willing to kneel with players
Pistons coach Casey applauds ‘beginning of the changes’
In eighth PGA start, Gordon fires 62 to lead Travelers
McCarthy tests positive for Covid-19 at PGA event: report
Paris and Eugene Diamond League meetings cancelled