Qatar showed their Asian champion credentials by snatching a 2-2 draw at Paraguay Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, despite losing 2-0. The pupils of the Spanish coach Felix Sanchez never gave up, despite conceding the first goal through a penalty in the 4 minutes and appealed to their varied menu of tactical resources and quick triangulations.
The final result leaves both selections in an intermediate part of the classification of the Group B of the Copa América 2019 with a point and Colombia at the top with 3 thanks to their 0-2 victory over Argentina, which ended the first date without points. The tie leaves both teams in second place in Group B of the Copa América.
The Albirroja opened the scoring early thanks to a penalty charged by Cardozo, endured the pressure qátarí the rest of the first time, which was saved several times by interventions of the goalkeeper 'Gatito' Fernandez, and extended at the beginning of the second half with a goal of Derlis González, who left the bench.
But Qatar, who dominated the match but failed in the finals, came to the draw with a goal from the young Almoez Ali, scorer of the Asian Cup, and another from Boualem Khoukhi after one of the characteristic triangulations of passes in the attack.
The quick advantage of Paraguay
Paraguay He started pressing from the opening whistle and, in a wrong outing from Qatar, Arzamendia almost opened the scoring in the first minute of play.
But the Paraguayan fans They did not have to wait long to celebrate because a minute later, after a foul charged by Almiron, Balbuena's header hit the hand of the Qatari nationalized Portuguese, Pedro Correia, and the referee scored the penalty without even needing help from the VAR. Cardozo, the 36-year-old veteran attacker of Libertad, kicked with perfection at an angle and elevated and scored his twelfth goal with the Albirroja shirt.
Although Paraguay tried to take advantage of the initial advantage to go on the attack in plays thrown by Almirón and Pérez, the Qatari team managed to overcome their initial lethargy, began to organize and to leave orderly by the tips in plays that forced the goalkeeper Fernandez to intervene several times.
Qatar showed its weapons
Hassan Al-Haydos, the most veteran of the young Qatari team, began to play calmly, to advance on the right and generate several plays of danger.
In the middle of the Asian domain with a touch of ball that showed the hand of Spanish technician Felix Sanchez and his school barcelonista, Paraguay managed to breathe for 5 minutes and made three dangerous attacks with Almirón and Domínguez that narrowly allowed him to expand the score, among them a Balbuena header that went over the crossbar and a shot by Pérez that passed by .
But Qatar quickly took back the dominance and almost achieved the draw thanks to a play of Al-Haydos, who found the Qatari striker Almoez Ali, free inside the area but his shot demanded a shot by Fernandez, who won the applause in the Maracana.
The second time
To try to shake off the Asian domain, the coach of Paraguay, the Argentine Eduardo Berizzo, sacrificed the wheel Perez and sent to the court at the beginning of the second half to Derlis Gonzalez, which allowed him to have three players in the attack.
And on his first move, Gonzalez, player of the Brazilian saints, obtained an assistance so that Cardozo increased the marker, but the annotation, that got to be commemorated by some time, was annulled after the respective consultation to the VAR.
Gonzalez himself, who gave a new face to Paraguay and put him in the attack, managed to expand the score at 11 minutes of the second half with a shot from distance. Qatar did not give up; discounted twelve minutes later by means of Almoez Ali and reached the equalizer 13 minutes from the end with a goal from Khoukhi after a big triangulation and a false start by Fernandez.
As in the first half, in the second Qatar maintained the dominance thanks to their permanent exchange of passes, threatened with the comeback and won the audience of the Maracana, who came to sing the traditional "ole" for their triangulations. The second day of Group B will face on June 19 the surprising Qatar with Colombia and the needy Argentina with Paraguay.
The match data
Paraguay: Roberto "Gatito" Fernández; Bruno Valdez, Fabián Balbuena, Júnior Alonso, Santiago Arzamendia; Celso Ortiz, Rodrigo Rojas (m.79, Richard Sanchez), Miguel Almirón, Hernán Pérez (m.46, Derlis González), Óscar Cardozo and Celicio Domínguez (m.83, Juan Iturbe). Coach: Eduardo Berizzo.
Qatar: Saad Alsheeb; Pedro Miguel Correia, Boualem Khoukhi, Tareq Salman, Bassam Alrawi; Abdelkarim Hassan, Assim Madibo, Abdelaziz Mohamed (m.88, Karim Boudiaf), Hassan Al-Haydos; Akram Afif and Almoez Ali. Coach: Félix Sánchez.
Goals: 1-0, m.4: Cardozo, penalty. 2-0, m.56: Derlis González. 2-1, m.68: Almoez Ali. 2-2, m.77: Boualem Khoukhi. And the referee of the match was the Peruvian Diego Haro, who admonished Madibo, Salman, Perez, Hassan, Khoukhi and Balbuena.
. (tagsToTranslate) Paraguay Soccer Team (t) America Soccer Cup