Atletico Madrid Claim LFP–Aspire Challenge
DOHA: Atlético Madrid emerged champions of the 2014 LFP – Aspire Challenge following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over fellow Spanish team Villarealbefore yesterday.
In the final game of the U-15 tournament, late strikes from Atlético players Andy Escudero and Giovanni Navarro cancelled out Villareal’s two early first-half goals.Then, with the game decided on penalties, the Atlético youngsters were able to hold their nerve and score 4 of their penalties, whilst Villareal scored just 2.
Played in front of a crowd of hundreds at the Aspire Zone in Doha, the late drama capped off a fantastic five days of football and a superb Thursday evening that also featured two other major competition matches.
The first of these two fixtures – the competition’s Bronze Final – saw Celta de Vigo claim 9th place following a convincing 5-1 victory over Sporting de Gijón. With Celta ahead in just five minutes following a tap-in from defender Manuel Migueles, the Spanish team grabbed their second three minutes later with a goal from Alejandro Rodriguez.
Commenting on the level of football exhibited during the competition, Aspire Academy director general Ivan Bravo, said, “Despite this being a youth competition, the standard on display during these past 5 days has been a reminder of why Spain’s football youth system is so well regarded worldwide. I would like to congratulate Atlético Madrid for their fantastic tournament performances and extend my praise to all competing teams and players.“In addition, I am confident that the two local Qatari teams – Schools United and Aspire Academy – will have benefited hugely from playing against such talented international opposition.”