Explained: Why Qatar is featuring in CONCACAF Gold Cup

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In a tight game in Houston, six goals were scored in the second half as the Asian champions and 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts hit the lead three times, but failed to capitalise.

Panama’s Rolando Blackburn levelled the game twice in a flurry of goals in the first 20 minutes after half-time, as Hassan Al Haidous put Qatar up 3-2 from the spot in the 63rd minute. Eric Davis equalised with a 79th-minute penalty.

In the other match, Honduras thrashed Grenada 4-0, with goals from Jerry Bengtson, Edwin Solano, Johnny Leveron and Romell Quioto.

Panama and Honduras will meet on Saturday in Houston after Grenada and Qatar face off at the same venue.

Football buffs all over the world will be wondering as to how Asian champions Qatar are playing in a tournament for teams from the CONCACAF region of North and Central America and the Caribbean!

The AFC Asian Cup champions were invited to the CONCACAF Gold Cup following a joint agreement between the two confederations.

AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa had said the agreement that was signed in 2017 was designed for not only greater co-operation between the confederations but also to help develop match officials and operational staff.

Incidentally, Qatar has become the first side from the Middle East to take part in the tournament.

For the records, Qatar is the second Asian team to take part in the Gold Cup.

South Korea was the first team to feature in Gold Cup after they were invited in 2000 and 2002 editions.

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