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Jul 25, 2021 at 12.30am UK
QatarQatar
3-2
El SalvadorEl Salvador
Ali (2', 55' pen.), Ali Abdullatif (8')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Rivas (63', 66')
Perez (45'), Ceren (54'), Rivas (71')

Preview: Qatar vs. El Salvador - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Qatar vs. El Salvador - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's CONCACAF Gold Cup clash between Qatar and El Salvador, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Qatar will hope to extend their unbeaten run to 11 games when they face El Salvador in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup on Saturday from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The 2022 World Cup hosts won their group thanks to a 2-0 win over Honduras, while El Salvador finished second in Group A after losing 1-0 to Mexico in their final match of the opening round.


Match preview

In their first appearance at this competition, The Maroon have made quite the impression, winning their group with two victories and a draw, scoring nine goals in the process, the most of any side in round-robin play.

The reigning Asian Cup champions made a massive statement to the rest of the teams remaining at this competition that they are a solid contender to win this tournament, and that beating them will take some doing.

After a wild opening fixture in which they squandered three leads to draw Panama 3-3, Felix Sanchez saw his team buckle down defensively in their last two group games, maintaining back-to-back clean sheets and holding Honduras to zero shots on target.

When they need a result, they always seem to come up big, having not lost a game since November 2020 when they were beaten in a friendly by South Korea 2-1.

This team have the experience of knowing what it takes to maintain their focus and composure in a knockout match, having captured the Asian Cup two years ago in a tournament where they did not concede a goal until the final against Japan, which they won 3-1.

Since being awarded the World Cup, the Qatar Football Association has been working feverishly to develop this team into a strong squad that nations around the world will fear, and they definitely have the attention of teams in CONCACAF with their performances through three games.

They are unbeaten in their last five fixtures versus teams in this region, and they have only trailed in three of their previous 12 matches, losing only once in that stretch.

When we talk about a program that has come a long way, we have to think of El Salvador, who have struggled at this competition in previous campaigns, failing to make it out of the group stage in two of their last three appearances before this one.

Since taking over as manager of the senior side earlier this year, Hugo Perez has turned around their fortunes dramatically, winning his first four matches in charge by a combined score of 16-0 as La Selecta qualified for the Hexagonal phase of World Cup qualifying for the first time since the 2010 campaign.

In the group stage, this team took care of business, dominating Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago, winning both matches 2-0 and putting themselves in a favourable position where they did not have to worry about getting a result against Mexico.

El Salvador had their share of goalscoring opportunities against El Tri, but they were also sloppy in possession, giving the ball away numerous times, and they were fortunate that the Mexicans only punished them one time over the 90 minutes.

If they want to progress beyond the last eight of this tournament, they will need to eliminate those mistakes against a Qatari side who are averaging three goals a game in this competition so far.

El Salvador will be familiar with Qatar heading into their quarter-final duel this weekend, having faced them in their final warm-up match before this tournament began, losing 1-0.

Despite that defeat, there were plenty of positives for them to take away from that game, as they had a pass accuracy of 93% and had 69% of the possession.

Qatar CONCACAF Gold Cup form:
  • D
  • W
  • W

Qatar form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

El Salvador CONCACAF Gold Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • L

El Salvador form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Homam Ahmed made his second start of the Gold Cup for Qatar versus Honduras as the 21-year-old left-back scored his first international goal, while midfielder Abdulaziz Hatem has goals in his last two matches, notching his eighth for the national side on Tuesday.

Defender Abdelkarim Hassan made his 106th appearance for his country against La H, and he is only three caps behind Bilal Mohammed for fourth all-time.

Boualem Khoukhi earned his 86th cap in their last fixture, while goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham earned his second successive clean sheet, although he did not have to make a single save in their previous match.

Mario Gonzalez was spectacular in the final group stage match for El Salvador, stopping five shots and bailing out his team on several occasions throughout the game.

Left-back Alexander Larin came closest to scoring for his team versus Mexico as his 71st minute free-kick struck the woodwork, while Alex Roldan featured in the starting 11 for the first time in this competition, replacing Bryan Tamacas.

El Salvador went with three attackers moving Jairo Henriquez and Joshua Perez higher up the field on the wing, joining Joaquin Rivas, while Marvin Monterroza played just in behind Henriquez in midfield.

Qatar possible starting lineup:
Barsham; Kheder, Hassan, Khoukhi, Ro-Ro, Salman; Hatem, Boudiaf, Al Haydos; Ali, Afif

El Salvador possible starting lineup:
Gonzalez; Larin, Gomez, Zavaleta, Tamacas; Monterroza, Ceren, Orellana, Perez; Henriquez, Rivas


We say: Qatar 2-0 El Salvador

Qatar have been clinical in front of goal throughout this tournament while only allowing two shots on target in their last two fixtures, and they are unbeaten against teams in CONCACAF this year.

El Salvador have never made it beyond the quarter-finals in this competition, and as good as they have been so far, they do not have the scoring balance and depth of their opponents.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:curl



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