It’s a clash of styles as the Team USA faces Qatar in a battle of unbeaten soccer teams on Thursday in the Semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The U.S. men’s national team (4-0-0) has conceded just one goal in the Gold Cup while Qatar (3-1-0) has scored the most goals. Something has to give and if the soccer lines are accurate, it will be Team USA winning this one.
The U.S. team is the decided favorite here per the online sportsbook listed at -110 to win in regulation and -260 to advance to the final. Qatar, is looking enticing as a +245 underdog (+200 to advance) but the Americans hold an edge with its elite goalkeeping.
|Qatar||+½ -120||+325||2½ +105o||½ -185o/+155u|
|USA||-½ -110||-110||2½ -135u||1½ +105o/-135u|
Can Qatar Get Hotter?
The AFC guests are making the most of their trip to America and are now just one win away from reaching the Gold Cup Final. Qatar has scored the most goals and averaged the highest goals and assists, minus penalty kicks. They are also just behind Mexico in shots on target per 90 minutes.
Qatar is lacking in big names but it has been playing beautifully thanks to the team’s strong chemistry. Forward Almoez Ali leads the team with four goals while forward/midfielder Akram Afif has a pair of goals and three assists.
¡Gooooool golaaaaaaaazo de Qatar! 🔥
¿Quién te conoce, Pogba? Hatem se acaba de mandar un golazo digno para el Puskas. ¡Pero qué poema! 🤩
TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) July 24, 2021
The nation has one of the hottest front fives when even midfielder Abdulaziz Hatem is scoring highlight-reel goals. Qatar quickly went up 2-0 against El Salvador but almost blew the game by conceding two second-half goals. Still, they hung on to win thanks to goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham making clutch saves.
Team USA: The Ball Stops Here
Been there, beat that. Team USA is no stranger to facing streaking teams as they dispatched of their northern rivals, Canada, in the group stage. The Americans have not allowed any goals outside of a penalty kick from Martinique.
The star of the team is Matt Turner, whose 0.25 goals allowed per 90 minutes is second only to Mexico’s Alfredo Talavera. But Turner has been busier and leads the tournament with 15 saves, including five against Jamaica in the quarterfinals to prevent the upset.
The U.S. team allows four shots on target per 90 minutes, which is the most of the four sides remaining. Turner will need to continue being flawless, especially against the fast-scoring Qatari.
Pick: Turning the Page
Team USA has been a shaky favorite in these big games and we don’t envy their backers who have had to sweat through the last two games. Make it a hat trick this Thursday as the U.S. team should once again find a way to beat Qatar even if its opponent looks better.
Qatar, as good as it is at scoring goals, has been vulnerable at its own net. Barsham made saves when it counted, but he shouldn’t have allowed that first goal in the last match.
Team USA, despite only having one player with more than one goal, finds ways to score. They may have to produce more than a goal here as Qatar is likely to snap Turner’s clean-sheet streak. But with their advantage in goal, the U.S. team should reach the final for the eighth time since 2000.
Pick: Team USA -110
Bonus Pick: No Clean Sheets
A one-nil USA win is a potential outcome, though Qatar has been surgical when it has a scoring opportunity within an opponent’s penalty box. Team USA won’t make as many mistakes as El Salvador, but Qatar may need only one.
On the other end, Team USA will also get at least one past Barsham. There will be no clean sheets in this match.