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Copa América

Qatar shake up Copa with thrilling comeback against Paraguay

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Qatar's Boualem Khoukhi (R) celebrates with teammate Hassan Al-Haydos after scoring against Paraguay during their Copa America football tournament group match at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 16, 2019.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByReuters
16/06/2019 at 20:59 | Updated 16/06/2019 at 21:45

Qatar fought their way back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Paraguay in their first ever Copa America game on Sunday, proving they will be no pushovers in the tournament by pulling off a thrilling revival at a near-empty Maracana stadium.

The 2022 World Cup hosts are one of two guest teams at the South American championship along with Japan.

However, their debut got off to a nightmare start when Paraguay's Oscar Cardozo smashed in from the penalty spot in the fourth minute.

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Qatar caused their opponents plenty of problems but after Cardozo had another strike ruled out after a VAR-review, the Asian Cup champions conceded again when Derlis Gonzalez scored early in the second half with a long-range rocket.

Striker Almoez Ali made amends for spurning an earlier sitter by pulling his side back into the game with a distance strike which looped into the net in the 68th minute.

Nine minutes later, Boualem Khoukhi surprisingly levelled with a scrappy finish to salvage a point for the underdogs.

Qatar face Colombia in their second match on Wednesday 19 June, before their final Group B match on Sunday 23 against Lionel Messi's Argentina.

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Related Topics
FootballCopa AméricaParaguayQatar
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