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Lads spot-on to make semis

Posted on 30 January 2009  - 12:00

Our Academy won a shoot-out in the sun to reach the semi-finals of the Copa Chivas tournament in Mexico.

Lads spot-on to make semis

Our Academy won a shoot-out in the sun to reach the semi-finals of the Copa Chivas tournament in Mexico.

They beat local side Morelia 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after Friday's quarter-final finished 1-1 at the Chivas Verde Valle in Zapopan, Jalisco - a training complex of the host team Chivas.

Goalkeeper Oscar Jansson (pictured) was the hero with two penalty saves in the shoot-out with Dean Parrett, Jon Obika, Yaser Kasim and Ryan Mason all successful from the spot.

Alex Inglethorpe's squad will now face another Mexican team, FC Atlas, in Saturday' semi-final at the same venue.

The lads had to recover from conceding their first goal in the tournament to maintain their superb run.

Coach Alex reported: "We played well, looked good in possession but were unable to convert a couple of opportunities and then went a goal down five minutes before half-time.

"We rallied at half-time and spoke about how well we were playing but that we needed to have a touch more belief in our finishing.

"We equalised about midway through the second half when Ryan Mason hit the underside of the crossbar from fully 30 yards and Jon Obika followed up to tap in the rebound.

"We had three glorious chances after that to win it but didn't take one and it went straight to penalties.

"We felt very confident as we've practised penalties regularly in training and the lads came through superbly, we scored all our penalities and Oscar Jansson saved two, so we went through 4-2."

Lads win shoot-out

FC Atlas are next and are one of three teams based in Guadalajara in the competition alongside hosts Chivas (Club Deportivo Guadalajara) and UAG Tecos.

Atlas also qualified from their group with a record of four wins and one defeat in five matches and conceded just the one goal. They hammered UAG Tecos 4-0 in their quarter-final.

"They are the strongest side we could play and won their quarter-final comfortably," added Alex. "But we are confident and we're looking forward to it.

"I can't say enough about how well the lads have done out here.

"We kicked-off at noon local time and the temperature hit the 90s but again, the players adapted superbly.

"This is arguably the world's best youth tournament and we're in the semi-finals, so that says it all."

The second semi-final will be an all-Mexican affair between Monterrey and Chivas after Monterrey beat River Plate 1-0 and Chivas beat the Brazilian national team 4-2.

Spurs v Morelia: Jansson, Smith, Cox (Berchiche), Parrett, Caulker, Butcher, M'poku, Bostock (Kasim), Obika, Mason, Townsend.