Posted on August 18, 2014
The first event of Aspire Academy’s new football season concluded on Sunday night, when Real Madrid defeated Qatar 3-2 in a tight game and also secured the international youth tournament (age group 1997) with victories over all opponents. For the youth national teams of Oman, Kuwait and Qatar it was a good preparation for the upcoming “AFC U16-Championship” and the teams expressed their thanks to Aspire Academy for hosting this high-profile event.
“Events like this are very important for the players to get to know each other better on and off the pitch and we are very thankful for the invitation. Qatar is a leader in sports and what they have here at Aspire Academy is unique: Great facilities, great people and the ambition to constantly get better,” said Oman-coach Yaqoob Alsabahi, who is getting his team in shape for the “AFC U16-Championship 2014” which is played this September in Bangkok and where Oman is going to face host Thailand, two-time winners Korea Republic and Malaysia.
The 16-nation competition will be played from September 6 to 20 and the top four teams will qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile next year. Making the semi-finals is also a goal that Kuwait wants to achieve. “Coming here and playing against strong teams was an important part of our preparation for Thailand. I have been coming to Aspire Academy with teams since 2006 and have gotten to know the place very well and know about the great job they are doing for sports in Qatar,” said Ibrahim Obaid, coach of Kuwait.

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While the tournament also played an important role in the Qatar’s preparation for Thailand, where they are going to face former winners and last edition’s host Iran, Syria and two-time champion Saudi Arabia, Real Madrid used the tournament in order to provide their “Juvenil B” side with more international experience. “It was a great opportunity for our players to come and play here and also a chance for them get to know Aspire Academy better, which is a very interesting project,” Real Madrid-coach Ruben de la Red commented on their stay in Doha.
  Final ranking:
   1. Real Madrid (9 pts)
   2. Kuwait (6 pts)
   3. Qatar (1 pt)
   4. Oman (1 pt)
  Tournament results:
   Tuesday, August 12
   Qatar vs. Oman 0-0
   Real Madrid vs. Kuwait 3-0 (1-0)
   Thursday, August 14
   Qatar vs. Kuwait 0-2 (0-0)
   Real Madrid vs. Oman 7-1 (5-1)
   Sunday, August 17
   Oman vs. Kuwait 0-1 (0-0)
   Qatar vs. Real Madrid 2-3 (2-0)