Qatar to face-off against USA in Concacaf Gold Cup semi-final
Qatar and the USA will go head-to-head with the goal of progressing to the Concacaf Gold Cup final. The match will be taking place at the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas tomorrow (2:30 am Doha time).
Placing first in each of their perspective groups, both undefeated teams will face-off at the Q2 Stadium for a chance to win the tournament.
After Qatar had tied against Panama in its opening match, the tournament debutants are now on a three-match win streak after defeating Grenada, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Qatar’s offense had averaged three goals per game and leads the tournament with a total of 12 goals.
Qatar’s Almoez Ali leads the competition with four goals, followed by Abdulaziz Hatem and Akram Afif with three and two goals, respectively.
Moreover, Hassan al-Haydos, Mohamed Muntari, and Homam Ahmed each have one goal.
Despite its scoring prowess, Qatar has struggled defensively in the second half of games. Five goals have been conceded by the team, all of which have come after the 50th minute.
Qatar will rely on goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham to get them past the USA. Barsham made four stops in a 3-2 quarter-final win over El Salvador, giving him a total of nine saves in the tournament.
With victories over Haiti, Martinique, Canada, and Jamaica, the USA had been able to attain a perfect 4-0-0 record during the tournament.
“Without a doubt, it’ll be difficult,” said USA coach Gregg Berhalter. “Qatar has looked great in this tournament. They are already in the semi-finals. That gives you a warning.”
US midfielder Cristian Roldan, who plays for Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, knows Qatar will be tough to crack but intends to live up to high expectations from within. “We have high aspirations as a team,” Roldan said. “Qatar is going to be really difficult. They play in a 5-3-2, they’re really difficult to break down and they’re a transition team, so we have to be smart.”
Cristian Roldan, a midfielder for the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer, believes Qatar will be difficult to crack but plans to live up to the high expectations from within.
On the other hand, defending champion Mexico will face Canada in Houston, Texas. Mexico had defeated the USA 1-0 in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup final.
Cyle Larin and Stephen Eustaquio each have three goals to lead the Canadians into their first semi-final since 2007, while Rogelio Funes Mori has three goals to pace Mexico.
“We just have to play our game and focus on ourselves, put in a good performance, and try to set up in the best possible way to win the game,” said Canada winger Tajon Buchanan. “To be here now and in the semi-final against a top side like Mexico, it’s a lot to take in.”
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Source: Gulf Times
Cover Image and Inline Image Credit: Concacaf
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