Qatar too much for Grenada

Published on 18 July 2021

Grenada’s Regan Paterson (red & yellow kit) goes airborne to evade Qatar’s Tarek Salman’s challenge in their Concacaf Gold Cup match. (Photo: Concacaf Media)

HOUSTON, Texas (July 17, 2021)—Invited guests Qatar ran out a comfortable 4-0 win over Grenada in their Group D, match day two encounter on Saturday night. Meeting at the BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas, the match itself proved little more than a scrimmage for the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as the Qataris dominated from the opening whistle.

The opener came in the 10th minute of play courtesy an Abdulaziz Hatem tap in from close range. The goal was confirmed following a VAR review for a possible infringement in the Granada penalty area. It stood, and Qatar were well on their way.

They doubled the lead 10 minutes later with what was possibly the goal of the match. Akram Afif created some space for himself on the top of the penalty area with some neat footwork before dispatching a curling effort past a stranded Jason Belfon in goal for Grenada.

Grenada tried to stem the tide with some physical play and many Qatari players found themselves on the end of some robust challenges.  The ploy did little to slow the Asian champions down, and a 35th minute Mohammed Muntari conversion made it three goals for Qatar. Muntari headed home an Afif corner kick despite drawing double coverage inside the Grenada penalty area. The Caribbean outfit should have found themselves in a deeper hole but Almoez Ali fluffed his lines at the last moment, inexplicably hitting over the cross bar. Additional danger averted.

The Caribbean side’s first real sight on goal came deep into first half stoppage time but Dejon Noel-Williams had his near post effort saved. Qatar comfortably went into the break three goals to the good.

Things got worse for the Spice Boys almost immediately after the resumption as Ali again was on the receiving end of a cross inside of the penalty area.  This time he would make no mistake with his finish as he firmly side-footed the offering pass Belfon.

The remainder of the match was characterized by almost non-stop pressure by Qatar, carving the Grenadian defense open on several occasions and Grenada in turn trying to catch Qatar on the counter attack.  Neither situation added any further goals to the match, and the score remained 4-0 at the end of regulation.

Qatar earned three points from the encounter to take their tally to four. They are second in the group behind Honduras, who with Saturday night’s come-from-behind 3-2 win over Panama topped the group with six points and advanced to the quarterfinals. Grenada stay rooted to the bottom of the Group D standing without a point.

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