Austin, TX- The Q2 Stadium hosted its first international tournament match, which featured the surprise of the tournament, Qatar, and the US national team.
In front of more than twenty thousand fans, Qatar faced the US in a match where both teams sought out a place in the final on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at the Allegiance Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.
Qatar had an excellent performance in this tournament despite being featured guests. The US repeated their way of playing and were unable to break the deadlock of Qatar’s defense.
Both teams had their sets of chances to open the score but were unable to accomplish those tasks. Qatar was more offensive attempting numerous times but only got two shots on target the whole game.
During the second half of the match, both teams had their eyes set on changing their tactics to get the opening goal.
Qatar had a golden opportunity to change the fate of the game. In the 58th minute of the match, a penalty kick was called after VAR asked the referee to look the play over. Qatar’s Hassan Al Hadoys took the penalty for his side and sent his shot just over the bar and handing a lifeline to the US.
In the dying minutes of the game, Gregg Berhalter’s second-half substitutions Nicholas Gioacchini and Gyasi Zardes in the 85th minute of the game. Gioacchini’s solo play on the left side of the field was able to send a ball across the box for Zardes to push it into the back of the net.
“Our starters did a phenomenal job of wearing them out,” said Zardes. “When the subs came in we were able to make a difference.”
Zardes gave all the credit to his teammates for setting up his game-winning goal for the USMNT. Columbus Crew Zardes scored his second goal of the tournament to seal and give the USMNT a spot in the Gold Cup Final.
“There’s two games where Gyazi (Zardes) has had two good games,” said US head coach Gregg Berhalter. “His work rate is there and he takes his chances.”
The US awaits its rival for the final, which will involve the winner of Mexico versus Canada. The US has the goal to regain their crown after failing to retain it in the tournament’s last edition when they fell to Mexico in 2019.