Qatar’s 1-0 loss to Colombia last time out means that their record against South American nations currently in FIFA’s top-30 stands at W0, D0, L4 (GF0, GA8). The first goal may well be crucial towards their chances, especially with just two of Qatar’s last ten matches seeing both teams score.
Unfortunately for the ‘Maroons’, both of their Copa América (CA) matches so far have seen them concede first. In turn, Qatar’s overall record vs CONMEBOL opposition stands at W2, D3, L6, with the 2019 AFC Asian Cup winners conceding an average of 1.82 goals per match within that category.
As for an Argentina side that simply must win, a 1-1 draw against Paraguay in the last CA matchday was hugely disappointing. It represented the second match in succession that the Argentines have lost one half ‘to-nil’.
Tellingly, Argentina has never faced an AFC zone side at the CA before, but going back to June 2007, the ‘Albiceleste’ have won their last six CA matches against guest teams, winning five of those by a margin of 3+ goals.
Players to watch: Akram Afif netted in the final 15 minutes of play during Qatar’s last win over a nation from another confederation (Switzerland, Nov 2018).
Lionel Messi’s (ARG) face-saving penalty last time out means that his last three CA goals have all arrived in the middle third of play (31st-60th minute).
Stat attack: Two of the three goals conceded by Qatar in this CA have arrived in the first or final 15 minutes.
Argentina’s last five victories over CA guest teams have been accompanied by a clean sheet.
Even more impressively, five of Argentina’s last six CA wins over a guest nation have seen them score 2+ consecutive match goals in the second half alone.
Venue: Arena do Grêmio (Porto Alegre)