In its inaugural edition, the tournament is bringing together eight club sides from around the globe that include big names like FC Barcelona, Ajax Amsterdam, and Vasco Da Gama, in addition to two teams from Aspire Academy – Aspire Qatar and Aspire International.
The ten teams were split into three groups, with the top team of each group plus the runner up of group A, making it to the semi-finals. The final will be played on January 17th with the winning team grabbing a 75000 $ prize money.
The tournament kicked off today after a colorful opening celebration. Bayern Munich and Netherlands star Arjen Robben played the first kick of the opening match between Aspire Qatar and Al Jazirah.
Group A – Aspire Qatar (3) AL Jazirah (0)
A brilliant performance by Fahad Obaid helped the Qatari team to a deserved victory over the Abu Dhabi-based club.
The mercurial striker gave his side the lead in the 50th minute with a fine left foot finish after a good through ball from Solomon Udo. Three minutes later he was in the right place at the right time to double the lead from close range.
Obaid was involved again in his team’s third goal, as his perfect cross found Abdo Thiam just outside the area, and the advancing central defender made no mistake with a powerful shot past the keeper.
The Qatari team’s next test will be against Juventus of Italy on Wednesday. The Italian side will kick off their campaign tomorrow against Kashima Antlers of Japan. Two teams will advance from this group to the semi-finals as it’s the only group with four teams.
Watch the goals here
Paris Saint-Germain (9) Al Ahly (0)
Group B opening game saw a big surprise, a 9-0 routing of Egyptian club Al Ahly by PSG.
The Cairo-based club is the most popular team in Egypt, and over its 104 years history, the team won dozens of trophies on local and continental levels.
The club is also one of the best in Egypt on junior level and with a lot of support from their loyal fans in Doha; a better performance was surely expected from the young reds.
The boys from Paris were in top form and in a class of their own as they four goals without reply in the first 45 minutes, against a slow Egyptian side that left huge spaces at the back and showed no ambition of getting back into the game.
Adrian Rabiot opened the core after only four minutes with a good header, before doubling the lead in the 19th minute with a powerful left foot strike from the edge of the area.
After just six minutes, Hervin Ongenda received a through ball from Rabiot before rounding the keeper and making it 3-0.
He them scored the goal of the match one minute before the break, with a delicate finish after he controlled a loose ball just outside the area and dribbled past three defenders.
Rabiot completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute, and Pakai Henkel made it 6-0 after 74th minute.
Al Ahly’s defense was a total wreck in the final ten minutes and the Parisians took full advantage of that, adding three more goals. The first through Yakou miete in the 84th minute with a beautiful left foot strike, the second a minute later when team captain Stephane Lambese showed great skill on the right hand side before producing a perfect far-post finish, then Mickael Herve completed the rout in the final minute.
The other group B team, FC Barcelona will kick off their campaign on Tuesday against Al Ahly, before facing PSG in the final group game on Thursday.Watch the goals