Dubai: Valencia CF and Boca Juniors registered thumping wins over Al Shabab and Al Nasr respectively to get their campaigns off to a winning note in the 3rd Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum Under-19 International Football Tournament at the Al Nasr Club ground on Sunday.
Valencia CF took their time to settle before powering their way to a 3-0 win over hosts Al Nasr, while Boca Juniors ran riot with a 5-1 drubbing of Al Shabab in the two Group B matches.
Valencia opened the scoring on the half-hour mark through man of the match Pedro Scolani. Fernando Garcia added a second within four minutes and Fimo Lotta confirmed the dominance of the Spanish giants by netting in the 75th minute.
In the second Group B match, the Argentinian champions were far the better side as they led 3-0 at half-time. Francesco Celeste, later named man of the match, opened the scoring in the fifth minute.
Five minutes later, Joaquin Rodriguez made it 2-0 and then added a third in the 40th minute as Boca Juniors cruised to a comfortable 3-0 cushion at half-time.
In the second half, Boca Juniors continued to pile on the pressure, which finally paid dividends in the 85th minute as Tiago Casasola tapped into an open goal. Marwan Haider pulled one back on the 90th minute after he curled in a free-kick that deflected over the goalkeeper after hitting a defender. But fleet-footed winger Augustin Bouazat scored a superb goal in the very next minute to make it 5-1 in favour of the Argentinian champions.
The two semi-finals will be played at Al Nasr Club on April 13 followed by the third-place play-off and final at 5pm on April 15.
The annual tournament is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, with sponsorship from Emirates Airline, Kia Motors, Saif Belhasa Holdings, B360 Watches, Rayhaan Al Ghurair, Arjaan Al Ghurair, Dubai Sports Channel and DEWA.