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Impressive Roma ease past Spartak to set up Aspire clash

Impressive Roma ease past Spartak to set up Aspire clash

Tribune News Network
Doha
Roma advanced to the semi-finals with a straight forward 3-0 victory over Spartak Moscow, after the Russians had been reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.
Roma were on the front foot from the first whistle, and engineered an early chance as Andrea Astrologo got up well to head a cross from the right goalwards, but keeper Pavel Boriskin saved comfortably.
Five minutes later Astrologo turned supplier, sending in a corner from the left that skipper Mattia Ciucci rose to meet, but again Boriskin was equal to it.
Roma were beginning to dominate, and Alessio Buttaro went close moments later with a close range, side-footed volley that the Spartak keeper saved well at his near post.
Mory Bamba’s pace was troubling the Russian backline, who resorted to questionable tactics to halt his runs on more than one occasion, with Vyacheslav Frolov cautioned early on for hacking down the speedy winger as he got away down the right.
Just after the half hour, and following another foul, Astrologo put in a high, angled cross from the right that Edoardo Bove rose highest to head home.
Spartak’s spoiling tactics continued, with Vadim Khromin seeing yellow after blocking off Bamba – not for the first time.
Despite being constantly under the cosh, Ilya Levchenkov could have equalised for Moscow just after the restart, but could not connect with a low cross from six yards out.
Soon after, Spartak’s tough task became even more difficult when Frolov was shown a second yellow for a late challenge on Matteo Cancellieri.
Boriskin continued to keep Spartak in the game with a series of splendid saves, but the Russian keeper couldn’t hold back the tide forever, and Roma doubled their lead as the game entered its final quarter, with Tueto Fotso heading home.
In added time, Riccardo Ciervo’s strike into the roof of the net was chalked out for offside, only for the decision to be corrected after a VAR review, following a lengthy delay for consultations.
Roma will face Aspire Academy in the second of Wednesday’s semi-finals. Both sides have impressed thus far and will have to be at their very best to reach the final.
Kashiwa too strong for Real Madrid
Kashiwa Reysol knocked out Real Madrid in a rematch of last year’s clash at the same quarter-final stage of the Alkass International Cup.
Last year’s finalists defended strongly to set up a last-four clash with Glasgow Rangers, courtesy of a 2-0 victory.
Real had the first effort on goal after nine minutes, but Miguel Romera Ramon’s shot went straight at the keeper.
Kashiwa responded and Shun Nakajima and skipper Ibuki Toda both went close before the Japanese went ahead on 21 minutes. Sohki Tamura was brought down by Jorge Sanchez Serafin and Naito Saito stepped up to send Real keeper Lucas Canizares Conchello the wrong way.
Pau Russo Aran, one of the stars of the tournament so far, showed great skill to set up Javier Rodriguez Lancho but he fired over, and Real then spurned another opportunity when Victor Rofino Gordo headed wide.
Kashiwa doubled their lead six minutes before the break when Saito and Takuma Otake linked up well down the left flank and set up Yuki Skimizu to make it 2-0.
Russo Aran saw an effort tipped over the bar as Real tried to find a response before the break, but last year’s runners-up held firm.
A heavy downpour arrived 10 minutes into the second half but it failed to dampen Kashiwa’s mood as they continued to keep Real at bay with relative ease. The Japanese side got everyone behind the ball which made it difficult for Real to create clear-cut chances.
Tamura almost put the game beyond doubt on 65 minutes but his shot skimmed the stop of the bar and Real then had one of their best chances of the night but Icelandic teenager Andri Gudjohnsen headed straight at the keeper.
Russo Aran turned nicely to create an opportunity but he couldn’t keep his shot down, and with eight minutes to go the same player sent a fine free-kick over the wall but the keeper was up to the task.
Real continued to attack in the closing stages but they never looked likely to deny the well-organized Kashiwa side.

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