New Delhi: Forward Tim Weah scored a spectacular hat-trick as USA thrashed Paraguay 5-0 in the pre quarter-final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday.
In a fast-paced encounter, the Americans put up their best performance of the tournament to make it to their sixth quarterfinals of the U-17 showpiece event.
Weah, son of former AC Milan and Liberian legend George Weah showed why Paris Saint-Germain have decided to invest in his talent.
USA had finished third in Group A while Paraguay had topped Group B and Friday’s pre-quarterfinal match was expected to be a tight one but in the end it turned out to be a completely one-sided match as the South American side never seemed to turn up.
Weah struck in the 19th, 53rd and 77th minutes while Andrew Carleton and captain Josh Sargent joined the American party in the 63rd and 74th minute in front of the 34,895 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
USA, who had beaten India 3-0 in their campaign opener, will now play the winner of tomorrow’s pre-quarterfinal match between England and Japan. The quarterfinals will be held Margao on October 21.
The big crowd, who turned up at the venue for a non India match got the worth of their money as they watched a fest though the Praguayans turned out to be a complete mismatch with trio of Weah, Sargent and Carleton simply destroyed the Paraguayans.
Weah made a clinical first touch finish with his left foot for his first goal, directing the perfect low cross from the right by Ayo Akinola in the 19th minute.
The second was a spectacular shot from the left edge of the box after a clinical first touch, which curled round the diving goalkeeper to hit the right corner of the net.
The third was a simple and easy chance after Weah was nicely set up by Carleton in front of an open goal. USA captain Sargent had another impressive game today, as he set up Carleton for USA’s third goal in the 63rd minute. Sargent himself entered his name in the scoresheet in the 77th minute with Carleton assisting him this time.
For Paraguay, they could not come up with a single clear scoring chance. They laid sieze of the American citadel only for a brief period — towards the end of the first half — but either the quality of the final pass was poor or their forwards were wayward.
The USA defence also was too strong to be broken down.
USA coulf have won by a bigger margin. In the 43rd minute, Chris Goslin’s free kick from well outside the box hit the bar and then Akinola’s effort of his chest was claeerd from the goal-line by a Paraguay defender.
With inputs from agencies.