February 14, 2019

Rangers and Roma Seal Al Kass International Cup Final Places

Glasgow Rangers and AS Roma will go head-to-head in the final of the Al Kass International Cup on Friday after knocking out Kashiwa Reysol and Aspire Academy respectively in the semi-finals.

Rangers stormed into the final with a comprehensive 5-1 victory but Roma required penalties to end Aspire’s brave bid, the hosts battling back from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 draw.

Rangers recorded the biggest win in Alkass history when destroying Etoile Sportive Du Sahel 7-0 in the quarter-finals, and they continued their free-scoring form after a tight start.

Kashiwa are a difficult side to break down and it took Rangers until the 37th minute to open the scoring, and it came courtesy of the most bizarre goal of the tournament.

Keeper Masato Sasaki rolled the ball out to Daichi Sugaware, but he slipped and Arron Lyall nipped in to score. Nathan YoungCoombes’ low shot on 43 minutes gave Rangers a 2-0 goal half-time advantage and the Scots continued to impress after the break with Kai Kennedy (2) and Alexander Lowry adding further goals, with Hidetaka Maie grabbing a consolation for Kashiwa. The second semi-final also came to life towards the end of the first half when Roma scored twice in the space of three minutes through Nicola Zalwski and Mory Bamba.

Man of the match Mekki Tombari then produced a two-goal burst of his own, earning and converting a spot-kick after 68 minutes and then equalizing with a spectacular volley three minutes later to set up the tournament’s first penalty decider. Roma converted all four of their kicks while Roma keeper Pietro Boer pulled off two fine saves as the Italians went through 4-1 on penalties.