Colombia vs Qatar: clash between Portugal's Queiroz, Spain's Sanchez
Colombia's national soccer team head coach Carlos Queiroz (C) controls the bal during a training session held at the Pituacu stadium in Salvador, Brazil, June 16, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/Mauricio Duenas Castaneda
Coach of the Qatar national team, Spain's Felix Sanchez (R) and player Hassan AlHaydos (L), participate in a press conference after a training session at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 15, 2019. EPA-EFE FILe/Antonio Lacerda
Colombia's national soccer team player Duvan Zapata participates during a training session held at the Pituacu stadium in Salvador, Brazil, June 16, 2019. EPA-EFE FILE/Mauricio Duenas Castaneda
Qatar's Almoez Ali celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2019 Copa America Group B soccer match between Paraguay and Qatar, at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 16, 2019. EPA-EFE/Antonio Lacerda
Sao Paulo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Colombia and Qatar national teams are set to square off against each other with the aim of moving a step closer to qualifying for the 2019 Copa America quarterfinal.
It is going to be the first clash between these two team across all the 46 Copa America editions and it will feature a Wednesday duel between two European coaches, Carlos Queiroz of Portugal and Felix Sanchez of Spain; managers of Colombia and Qatar respectively.
The second matchday of Group B will pit the two national teams who pulled off surprises in their openers, with Colombia prevailing over Argentina 2-0 to lead the group and Qatar rallying from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 draw.
Argentina and Paraguay are scheduled to play each other also Wednesday in a crucial game as both teams hope to make the second round.
Queiroz, who is making his first competitive tournament appearance with Colombia, will have to do without forward Luis Fernado Muriel for the rest of the tournament.
The Columbia coach now has to include Roger Martinez to accompany captain Radamel Falcao Garcia.
Martinez, an America player, was inserted in the first replacing Muriel and scored the opener against Argentina.
Duvan Zapata represents another alternative as he had a great season with Atalanta and scored the second goal when he took the field replacing Falcao against Argentina.
Colombia has welcomed the return of midfielder Wilmar Barrios, who was injured during his team's win in the opener after doing a good job neutralizing Argentina star Lionel Messi.
The Colombian national team trained Monday behind closed doors at Palmeiras' training center and is expected to inspect the Morumbi stadium's pitch later in the day.
Qatar, the 2019 AFC Asian Cup winner, is expected to repeat the team's last starting lineup especially since coach Felix Sanchez made only one change and it came with two minutes to go.
It was forward Almoez Ali, the Asian Cup top scorer, who scored Qatar's first goal, while defender Boualem Khoukhi notched the second; both goals coming in the second half.
Defender Ahmad Moain, the only member of the Qatar squad who plays abroad (at Spanish second division side Cultural Leonesa) is expected to remain on the bench.
Sanchez, 44, said that Colombia has some weakness his team can take advantage of.
Colombia: David Ospina; Stefan Medina, Davinson Sanchez, Yerry Mina, William Tesillo; Wilmar Barrios, Mateus Uribe, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, James Rodriguez; Radamel Falcao Garcia and Roger Martinez or Duvan Zapata.
Coach: Carlos Queiroz.
Qatar: Saad Alsheeb; Pedro Miguel Correia, Boualem Khoukhi, Tareq Salman, Bassam Alrawi; Abdelkarim Hassan, Assim Madibo, Abdelaziz Mohamed, Hassan Al-Haydos; Akram Afif and Almoez Ali.
Coach: Felix Sanchez.
Referee: Alexis Herrera of Venezuela.
Venue: Sao Paulo's Morumbi stadium. EFE