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Dubai Football 7s - Semi Finals Report

By Graham Taylor
Dubai – 13 March 2010

PROFESSIONALS SEMI-FINALS

OLIMPIACOS V AC MILAN
An entertaining game of 7-a-side football ended with Olimpiacos of Greece beating AC Milan 2-1 with the winner coming 3 minutes from time. Georgios Niklitsiotis opened the scoring for the Greeks midway through the first half but Milan hit back on the stroke of half time through Redaelli Mauro.
Both sides continued the assault on each other’s goals at the start of the second half but it was the Greek side who prevailed as Niklitsiotis netted his second of the match to secure their place in the Professionals Cup Final, final score Olimpiacos 2 AC Milan 1.

ARSENAL V LEEDS UNITED
Arsenal and Leeds United provided another entertaining match and again Andy Robinson steered Leeds superbly from his midfield berth. Goalless at half time both teams had had few chances to open the scoring and 0-0 was probably the right score at that moment ....the second half was a different matter as Arsenal began to probe for any openings Leeds comfortably kept them at arm’s length... as time ticked away towards extra time and the dreaded penalty shoot-out both teams played with more urgency and with 2 minutes left a great through ball from Robinson put William Hatfield in and he duly obliged, coolly slotting in to give Leeds a 1-0 victory.

LEGENDS SEMI-FINALS

AC MILAN V GLASGOW RANGERS
The so far all conquering AC Milan entered into their Legends Cup semi-final against Glasgow Rangers as red hot favourites for the championship, with no goals conceded to date and an average of scoring 4 goals per game no one could question their credentials...sure enough Milan took the lead in the first 2 minutes through Stefan Eranio but Rangers were having none of it and took the game to Milan right from the restart, their energy paid off almost immediately as Michael Mols played a great one-two with Gordon Durie to allow Durie to equalise...Game-on!!!
Obviously the Italians were not happy at conceding their first goal of the whole tournament and duly raided the rangers goal, Di Canio put through Mario Bortolazzi to restore their advantage.
The second half continued much the same, every time Rangers tried to build an attack Milan’s Franco Baresi stood tall allowing Di Canio to cause continued chaos in the rangers defence, the pressure got to the scots as Di Canio scored the third and laid on the fourth for Angelo Carbone to secure a 4-1 victory for the Italians.

GLASGOW CELTIC V LIVERPOOL
Liverpool went in to the game as slight favourites and it showed in their possession and build-up play during the first half, celtic were resigned to a defensive role for the most part but handled it very well.
The second half flipped like a coin as Celtic returned the favour and put Liverpool on the back foot playing some nice passing moves to create several chances, the best falling to Pierre Van Hooijdonk which he scuffed to miss.
The game ended 0-0 and 5 minutes Golden Goal extra time followed, both teams started cautiously knowing one mistake costs all, in the end skill won through as Celtic combined to create a chance for Gerry Britton who duly obliged to send the Scots through to the Legends Cup Final....Final Score Celtic 1 Liverpool 0 (AET)

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