Qatar trounce Grenada 4-0 to seal first CONCACAF Gold Cup win
Qatar sealed its first-ever Gold Cup victory with a resounding 4-0 result over Grenada during the second matchday in Group D at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas today.
The defending AFC Asian Cup champions took the lead in the 11th minute as Abdelaziz Hatem had a right-footed finish in the opening goal of the encounter. Left back Abdelkarim Hassan assisted the play with a cross into the box that ended in Hatem getting past Grenada goalkeeper Jason Belfon.
From that point on, it was straightforward for Qatar. Forward Akram Afif, who was named man-of-the-match, scored his second goal of the tournament with a marvelous curler from outside the box in the 22nd minute of play.
Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s third goal in the 36th minute with a header at the near post during a corner kick opportunity.
Almoez Ali would get involved with the scoring after the halftime break to extend the lead for the tournament guests to 4-0. The play came from a right-wing cross across the box from right back Pedro Miguel. Ali came close to scoring again in the 58th minute but was denied by Grenadian defender Aaron Pierre.
Grenada goalkeeper Jason Belfon came up with one of his 17 saves on the day in the 64th minute to deny Afif from getting a brace.
Miguel nearly had another assist on the day as he once again delivered a dangerous ball across goal. Abdullah Al-Ahrak connected with a powerful shot but was denied by the post in the 82nd minute.
Miguel nearly got a goal of his own just seconds later but his attempt went just wide of the goal.
Qatar's attacking dominance proved to be too much for the Concacaf minnows, who only managed to develop one true attacking chance late in the first half.
The Al Annabis stars have 14 players with 60+ cap and the confidence and chemistry between players was visible to anyone watching. They're a very well-coached side and it will be interesting to see how they fare in the knockout stage, however, they hit their brakes after they went up 2-0.
They seemed to be comfortable coasting throughout the match with the lead they had, and any chances that happened to come their way, they would take. In a very difficult Group D that has three teams competing for two spots to advance, if it comes down to goal-differential in the long run, Qatar could look back here and rue their missed chances in the first half.
With the win, Qatar improved to four points heading into their final group match against Honduras on Wednesday. Grenada will depart Houston for Orlando and will look for their first Gold Cup win or draw against Panama.
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