Fluminense were last night crowned Al Kass International Cup champions as they beat Paris Saint-Germain on penalties. Gabriel Silva tucked away the vital spot-kick to claim a 4-2 win after the game had finished 0-0 after 90 minutes, sparking wild scenes of celebration at the Aspire Academy in Qatar.
It was heartbreak for PSG captain Franck Bomback who missed his side’s penalty when he clipped the outside of the post. But it was a deserved victory for the Brazilian side after they had impressed during the game and gone close on several occasions.
PSG were unlucky right at the end of the game when they had a goal disallowed, but overall ‘O Tricolor’ have improved throughout the competition and ultimately held their nerve to take home the Golden Cup.
Yakou Meite should have opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but nodded wide from just six yards out when left unmarked from a corner. The influential Robert Santos was forced to leave the game on 66 minutes after picking up a knock, and was replaced by the lively Daniel Simoes.
As the clock ticked down, Flu again increased the pressure and went close through a series of free-kicks and corner whipped in by Kenedy. But in the final minute, PSG missed possibly the chance of the game when Augustin failed to connect with an in-swinging free-kick just yards out.
The last drama came when Flu keeper Marcos Felipe brilliantly tipped over a Bomback corner that could have dipped under the bar – but the clock ticked over and only penalties could separate the teams.
An emotional Marcos Valadares, Head Coach of Fluminese said: “This is such an amazing moment for the whole team. I am so proud of all the players - I am overjoyed.
This was a very difficult game. PSG are a strong side and we knew we would have to be at our best to win the trophy. The boys did so well. Today was our day, it was a fair result. We really deserved it. We want to thank all our supporters, all our technical people and our president.
"The players have enjoyed their time in the tournament so much. Qatar is an amazing place. A very nice country. A great stadium. Great people."
Laurent Bonadei, Head Coach of Paris Saint-Germain commented: “We have to congratulate Fluminense on winning the title. I am really proud of my players. They played very well. I believed we would do it and it was unfortunately we had a goal disallowed. Penalties is always lottery. “
Essa Al-Hetmi, Chairman of the Tournament Organising Committee: "Congratulations to Fluminense, the new champions of the Al Kass International Cup. They are very worthy winners of tonight’s final. But I offer my commiserations to PSG who played a fantastic game and were unlucky not to retain their title.
"I have been overwhelmed by the standard of football that has been on display at the Aspire Academy during the last two weeks as teams from around the world have come together in a spectacular display of sporting excellence.
"We look forward to welcoming them back to Doha in the future and I have no doubt we will see some of them representing their nations in the FIFA World Cup in 2022.”
The tournament was hosted by The Qatar Football Association, Al Kass Sport Channels and the Aspire Zone Foundation.
2nd Paris Saint-Germain
3rd Boca Juniors
4th Inter Milan
5th Aspire International
6th Real Madrid
7th Aspire Qatar
8th Liverpool FC
9th Al Zamalek
11th Yokohama Marinos
12th Al Nasser