Qatar vs. USA – 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal
It’s the guest nation against the host nation in the first 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal this Thursday, July 29, as Qatar and the United States go head-to-head at Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium.
Qatar beat El Salvador 3-2 in the quarterfinals to book their spot in the last four, while the US claimed a last-gasp 1-0 victory over Jamaica to advance.
Could Qatar upset the Gold Cup odds and become the first guest nation to reach the final since 2003? Or will the Stars and Stripes secure a third consecutive final appearance?
I answer those questions – and a whole lot more – in this betting preview, which includes odds, team analysis, and my prediction and pick for Qatar vs. USA.
Qatar vs. USA Betting Odds
It is no real surprise that all the online betting sites expect the USA (1.86) to progress to the final. After all, Gregg Berhalter’s men have the home-field advantage and have won all of their Gold Cup games this summer.
Still, Qatar (4.15) isn’t just here to make up the numbers. The Maroons are the highest-scoring side in the tournament and have claimed some notable scalps en route to the semifinals.
Before we get to my Qatar vs. USA prediction and betting pick, let’s take a closer look at the teams.
Can Qatar Upset the Gold Cup Odds?
With Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Asian champions were the obvious guest-nation pick for this year’s Gold Cup. Having reached the semifinals, it’s safe to say they have exceeded all expectations.
Felix Sanchez’s men finished atop Group D after picking up two wins and a draw. Following an eventful 3-3 tie with Panama, they crushed Grenada 4-0 before beating Honduras 2-0.
The Maroons have been scoring goals for fun in the States. Almoez Ali and Abdulaziz Hatem have netted four and three, respectively, while Akram Afif has managed to chalk up two goals and four assists in just four appearances.
Averaging three goals per game, Qatar will be confident of getting on the scoresheet on Thursday. But there is no denying that the USA boasts a stronger all-round team.
Will the USA Continue to March On?
With multiple high-profile players absent from the Gold Cup roster, Berhalter’s boys haven’t exactly set the tournament on fire. Still, they have reached the semifinals without any issues.
The US beat Haiti (1-0), Martinique (6-1), and Canada (1-0) on their way to finishing the points clear at the top of Group B. In the previous round, they edged out Jamaica, with Schalke young gun Matthew Hoppe scoring the only goal of the game.
The Stars and Stripes have bagged nine goals across their four matches this summer. While they will be pleased with their offensive efforts, their performances at the opposite end of the field have been even more impressive.
Not only have the Americans kept three clean sheets in four games, but they have also conceded just a single goal in the process.
With New England’s Matt Turner between the sticks and Atlanta star Miles Robinson shielding the goalkeeper, Qatar is likely to struggle to break down the USA’s steely backline.
Qatar vs. USA Prediction and Pick
USA to Win1.86
Although the Asian champions have enjoyed plenty of success over the past couple of weeks, I can’t see them progressing any further. They have yet to face a team of the USA’s caliber, so they should find it difficult to maintain their free-scoring approach on Thursday.
It feels like we still haven’t seen the best of the US at this tournament, but I don’t think that is a bad sign. If they continue to keep things tight at the back, the hosts should be able to dispatch the guests and reach the showpiece.