Karachi United FC Youth Academy team clinched a sensational 2-2 draw against Aspire Academy with a dramatic comeback. Aspire Academy in Doha possesses the top facilities and play youth teams from major international Clubs such as Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan and hence it was a unique chance for Karachi United to prove their worth against one of the best academies in the world.
Coming in as underdogs, Karachi United started off the game with high intensity keeping Aspire away from goal. However, an attack from the left wing in the 10th minute undid KU’s resolve as a cross was bundled into the net by the Aspire striker. After this early setback, the team regrouped and worked their way back into the game with KU captain, Hassan Saad working the ball up from defense for Changez Shafi, Ali Raza and Zaid Yahya to take over and control the game from there. Karachi United ended the first half with some great moves on the right courtesy Noman Tahir.
KU started the second half strong and after fending off some good attacks from the Aspire team, their hard work paid off as KU pressed Aspire high up the pitch and after winning the ball back, substitute Rafay Salahuddin smashed the ball past the keeper into the top corner in the 50th minute to make it 1-1. Aspire went straight onto the offensive which led to the once again take the lead after a miscommunication between KU’s goalie and center backs allowed the Aspire striker an easy header into the goal in 53rd minute.
It seemed that this might break the resolve of the KU boys but the team kept going and won a corner in the 60th minute. The pre-tour hard work paid off as well practiced set piece off the training ground saw Changez delivering a great ball to the far post where young Ali Raza superby placed it into the back of the net followed by a cart wheel celebration from the young midfielder from KUFF’s Mangophir Center of Excellence.
The full time whistle signaled the end of a fantastic match between two young sides playing good football with handshakes all around. Following the victory, there were joyous scenes in the KU dressing room with Salman Raheem dedicating a song in Balochi to KU’s victory.
Head coach Adeel Rizki said after the game: “It was a great team performance and a great result to take back to Pakistan. We have shown today that we have the capacity to achieve and will continue our hard work and hopefully come back to Aspire and compete. We also want to convey our gratitude to Aspire for giving us this opportunity. ”
Karachi United play four more games on the tour against Evolution (22nd September), Al-Makhriya (two games on 23rd and 25th September) and then the final game against Qatar Super League Club, Al-Sadd’s Youth Team on 26th September.
Source: Riaz Ahmed – 0300-3926092