Arsenal U17s eased into the knockout stages of the Al Kass International Cup in Qatar as group winners by confidently dispatching of the Aspire Academy with a 3-0 victory today.
Tabi-Hinds- C. Willock
subs: Tella, Nketiah, Da Silva, Mourgos, Gilmour. Not used: House, Da Graca, O. Moore, Nelson.
Having started their campaign with a 3-2 win over Vissel, the young Gunners were keen to rack up another victory and quickly established a lead when Chris Willock did well to find Stephy Mavididi, who is the competition’s top scorer so far with four goals.
It was soon 2-0 when Harry Donovan lashed home a powerful effort after several of his team-mates had seen their efforts cleared.
Donovan’s goal was spectacular, but Arsenal’s third, scored by the diligent Willock, was even more impressive as the England youth international curled the ball into the net.
Arsenal played superbly in the first half as they stroked the ball around confidently, emphasising their technical superiority over their opponents.
Kaylen Hinds, operating as an attacking midfielder, was central to most of Arsenal’s attacking moves, whilst Willock and Mavididi were always dangerous, ably supported by clever passes from Donovan and Ben Sheaf in midfield.
Arsenal’s defence, containing three schoolboys in Kostas Pileas, Rugare Musendo and Tolaji Bola, was rarely tested, although the intensity in Arsenal’s play did drop a little when Hinds and Willock were withdrawn at half-time.
Arsenal still possessed an attacking threat, however, with substitute Nathan Tella lively out wide and Savvas Mourgos and Eddie Nketiah both squandering presentable chances.
Arsenal will face one of River Plate, AC Milan or Juventus in the Quarter-Final on Tuesday, fully aware that their toughest tests in this competition lie ahead of them. Today’s performance, though, is one that they will certainly aspire to replicate in the latter rounds.