Our prediction for this Copa America match:
After receiving a wild card for the 2019 Copa America, Qatar will be looking to prove their worth on their debut at the prestigious tournament when they face Paraguay in Rio de Janeiro. The Asian side continue their preparations for the 2022 World Cup in their homeland, but they are seen as underdogs in Group B. Qatar did well to win the 2019 Asian Cup, but Paraguay are likely to pose a much bigger threat for them than their previous rivals.
Los Guaranies produced a fine display in a 2-0 win over Guatemala and they will be looking to build on the triumph when they take on Felix Sanchez’s troops at Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho. When the two teams met in a friendly in 2009 Qatar recorded a 2-0 win over Paraguay and we are positive that the South American side are going to get their revenge on the 2019 Asian Cup champions.
Highlighted Player (Hernan Perez):
Hernan Perez is a 27-year-old Paraguayan winger who plays for Spanish club RCD Espanyol in Spanish La Liga. Perez was a late bloomer having built up his career for two different youth clubs before finding his feet with Tacuary.
He made his top division debut in 2007 with them and was subsequently signed by fellow league side Club Libertad. But a serious right knee injury limited his game time at Libertad where he rarely appeared for the capital club. Perez’s redemption came at Spanish club Villareal in 2009 where he quickly established himself in the main squad.
Last year, he joined Espanyol and started showing glimpses of his skills. Perez was one of the best players for Paraguayan under-20 team at the 2009 South American Championship helping them finish in second place. His full senior debut came in the next year when he was selected to the 2011 Copa America. So far, Perez has won 26 caps.
Highlighted Team (Qatar):
Qatar national team played their first official international game on March 27, 1970, with the team losing to Bahrain (1-2) on the road. The Maroons suffered their biggest defeat to Kuwait in January, 1973 and 42 years later they recorded their biggest win against Bhutan (15-0). Qatar did remarkably well to win the 2019 Asian Cup, with the team beating Japan 3-1 in the title game. The same year the Maroons received a wild card for the Copa America.
Qatar were elected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup as well. The Asian side are well known for their dark red shirts, whereas their away kit is white. Qatar are affiliated to both AFC (Asia) and WAFF (West Asia) confederations. Sebastian Soria is the most capped Qatar footballer and it has to be noted that he is still the team’s top scorer. The Maroons play their home games at various stadiums, but they are likely to play their 2022 World Cup opener at Lusail Iconic Stadium which can hold up to 80,000 spectators.