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Lads Cruz into last eight

Posted on 30 January 2009  - 12:00

Our Academy squad secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa Chivas tournament in Mexico by beating local side Cruz Azul on Thursday.

Lads Cruz into last eight

Our Academy squad secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa Chivas tournament in Mexico by beating local side Cruz Azul on Thursday.

The 2-0 victory means they have still to concede a goal in the prestigious tournament and they progress with the best record of the 24 teams - four wins, one draw and a plus-10 goal difference from their five matches.

The lads are the only non-South American side in the last eight after Real Madrid, Norwegian side Stabaek, Chivas USA and the Japanese national side all bowed out at the group stage.

It's a quick turn around with their quarter-final against another Mexican side, Morelia, scheduled for 6pm tonight (Friday, January 30, noon Mexican time).

The lads had to battle against temperatures reaching 90 degrees when they took on Cruz Azul at the Colegio Once Mexico in Zapopan, Jalisco, but once again they came through unscathed.

Coach Alex Inglethorpe reported: "Cruz Azul are a good side and they won their opening two fixtures, so we knew it would be tough, especially in the conditions because we kicked-off at 11 o'clock local time.

"We had the better of a first half that ended 0-0, our best chance came when Paul-Jose M'poku went through on a breakaway but shot into the side-netting.

"We controlled it even more in the second half and we were awarded a penalty early on when Kyle Fraser-Allen was fouled and Yaser Kasim scored from the spot.

"Harry Kane then scored his first goal for us with a shot from the edge of the area when he deceived the goalkeeper, showing to shoot into one corner and firing it into the other.

"We are the only non-South American side to make it through to the quarter-finals and the way in which the lads have played and conducted themselves has been terrific.

"But they are not complacent and know they will have to be on their game again to progress to the semi-finals.

"We play Morelia and I watched them play Brazil earlier in the tournament, they were the better team but lost 2-1. They missed three gilt-edged chances that day and out-passed Brazil, so that says it all.

"I expect it will be an open, attacking game and we certainly have the players to cause them problems."

Spurs: Jansson, Nicholson, Byrne, Parrett (Cox), Berchiche (Caulker), Butcher (Smith), Fraser-Allen, Kasim (Ekim), Oyenuga, Kane, M'poku (Townsend).

CLICK HERE for the final group standings via the tournament's official website...