By Sports Reporter/Doha
Tournament debutants Mohammed VI Academy stunned reigning champions Glasgow Rangers to reach the semi-finals of the Al Kass International Cup at the Aspire yesterday. Skipper Omar Sadik scored the winner with his fourth goal of the tournament as the Moroccans continue to impress with their fine passing and quality finishing.
The result was harsh on Rangers skipper Charlie Lindsay, who netted his fourth and fifth goals of the tournament to go to the top of the goalscoring charts. Lindsay, who made his first-team debut for Northern Ireland club Glentoran at the age of just 15 years, five months and 24 days, has established himself as one of the stars of the tournament and had been the MVP in Rangers’ two previous games.
He was again involved in everything Rangers did as an attacking force but he found Mohammed VI Academy playing with great passion and determination. Rangers took the lead on seven minutes when Connor Allan won the ball from Hassan Aqboub just inside the Mohammed VI Academy half and he found Robbie Ure who played a fine through ball to Lindsay who sent a low right-foot shot past goalkeeper Walid Hasbi.
The lead lasted just two minutes though as Jack Harkness played a weak back pass and Sadik sent a shot on goal that Jack McConnell saved, but the keeper was then out of position as the most valuable player of the match Aqboub fired home.
The Moroccans delighted their vociferous fans when taking the lead with one of the goals of the tournament on 27 minutes. Harkness was dispossessed near the halfway line and the ball was played out to the left from where Aqboub sent in a beautiful curling shot beyond the despairing dive of McConnell. At the other end, Kyle Semple got a shot on target but Hasbi had it covered and Rangers went into the break behind, despite having enjoyed 57% of the possession.
The second half was less than a minute old when McConnell was tested again. Sadik got on the end of a long ball and nodded it into the path of Aqboub who saw his effort saved by the Scottish keeper. Aqboub was enjoying his best game of the tournament and showed great skill to beat three players to create another opportunity but the angle was too tight to trouble McConnell.
At the other end, Lindsay burst between two defenders and fed Ure, but his shot was saved by Hasbi, who was also alert when racing off his line after Lindsay got in behind the defence and looked likely to score.
Rangers levelled on 67 minutes and inevitably it was Lindsay who provided the finish. Icelandic midfielder Johannes Bjarnason sent him through on the right and he shot across the keeper from an angle to find the net. Rangers could have gone ahead on 79 minutes but Hasbi managed to tip over Semple’s deep cross just as it threatened to find the net. Sadik, a hat-trick hero in Mohammed VI Academy ’s 3-0 victory over Altinordu, again proved the hero when soaring high to head the winner on 83 minutes.
Mohammed VI Academy found themselves down to 10 men in the 88th minute when Mohammed Jazouli needlessly kicked out at Semple to became the first player in the tournament to receive a red card. It means he will now miss the semis.
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