Match Preview: Qatar vs Argentina

Qatar and Argentina square off in Porto Alegre in a game which La Albiceleste have to win if they want to proceed to the knockout stage of Copa America.

Argentina is the biggest disappointment at the 2019 Copa America so far, sitting at the bottom of Group B with only one point on their account.

They kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Colombia, while Lionel Messi who converted and goalkeeper Armani who saved a penalty, rescued a point for the two-times World Champions in the second round against Paraguay.

Asian champions Qatar also won only one point in the competition so far, coming back from 2-0 down to rescue a draw against Paraguay in the opener.

They will meet Argentina at the Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre, in a game which is a must-win for both sides. The match is scheduled for tonight at 21:00 (CET).

Team news

Qatar boss Felix Sanchez Bass started the previous to games against Paraguay and Colombia with the same line-up.

He is not expected to make any changes, with Almoez Ali leading the attack of the 2019 Asian Cup winners.

Scaloni benched Aguero and Di Maria in the 1-1 draw against Paraguay, while Paulo Dybala remained unused substitution in Argentina’s both games at the Copa America.

The Juventus forward will be hoping to get his first minutes in the competition, while Manchester City star Sergio Aguero is expected to return to the starting XI.

What did the managers say

Felix Sanchez said the defeat against Colombia in the previous game left him with a “bad taste”.

“It leaves us with a bad taste because the end was already close,” said the Qatar head coach after the game, via FOX.

“Score a goal in final minutes, when the game is tied… You leave with the bitterness of not being able to score but we also have to value that the team competed with a great rival.

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“We played against one of the best teams in the world. Despite the loss, we competed until the final whistle. This will give us the strength to keep working and preparing for the future.”

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni admitted his players are lucky to be still alive in the 2019 Copa America.

“The solution is that we have to win. We are lucky to be alive,” he told a news conference, via AS.

“We have to look more like the second half, but be more balanced and thus be able to manage the game.

“I don’t know if it was the best version [before Martínez came off], but without a doubt, it was the most dangerous. Sergio entered very well.”

Stats

Both sides have played only once in history, with Argentina winning 3-0 in a friendly game back in November 2005.

Qatar’s 1-0 defeat to Colombia last Wednesday was the Maroons’ first defeat in a competitive game since December 2017.

Argentina failed to qualify for the knockout stage of the South American Championship for the last time back in 1983.

La Albiceleste reached the Copa America Final four times in the last five editions, noting four defeats – two against Brazil and two against Chile.

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