El Salvador have arguably been the feel-good story of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, reaching the competition’s quarterfinals for the sixth time.
But to advance to the semifinals for the first time, La Selecta will have to defeat invited guest Qatar, who have proven to be a formidable foe in their first appearance.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the game.
- Saturday, July 24 | 7:30 pm ET
- State Farm Stadium | Glendale, Ariz.
How to watch and stream
- FOX, Univision, TUDN
What to know: El Salvador
Former US men's national team standout and youth national team coach Hugo Perez has breathed new life into El Salvador since his appointment in April. After bossing minnows in the early rounds of World Cup qualifying, El Salvador are one of eight teams left standing and looking to book a ticket to Qatar 2022.
The tight 1-0 loss to Mexico to close out Group A was just La Selecta’s second defeat in Perez’s nine matches in charge.
That came after matching 2-0 wins over Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago to book their spot into the quarterfinals. It's the first time El Salvador have won two games in the group stage in their history and they've secured those wins late, scoring three of their four group-stage goals inside the final 10 minutes.
La Selecta will be without midfielder Narciso Orellana, who's serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation.
What to know: Qatar
Qatar are the invited guest at the Concacaf Gold Cup, and The Maroon made sure to extend their stay with an undefeated run to top Group D.
After opening the tournament with a wild 3-3 draw against Panama, the Qataris flexed their attacking muscle by scoring six more goals without conceding against Grenada and Honduras.
Ironically, this is the second meeting between these sides in less than a month. Qatar defeated El Salvador, 1-0, in a Gold Cup tuneup for both sides on July 4 in Croatia. Star forward Almoez Ali scored the lone goal in the 69th minute. The 24-year-old, who competes for Al-Duhail in the Qatar Stars League, has added two more goals in the Gold Cup to bring his total for the national team to 23 in just 43 appearances.